By JONAH SVIHUS
OVER THE summer of 2015, the apple trees located in the Albany Quadrangle were removed by the Lewis & Clark maintenance staff due to severe rotting.
The picturesque courtyard now appears empty without the twisting bows of the trees, causing some students to complain about the loss of the trees. “It’s too bad because I thought those trees were pretty”, said Anthony Fedorko ‘16. “They had something about them that was different than all the rest of the trees on campus.”
This “something” that Fedorko speaks of can be attributed to the symmetry that the trees created as one stared down the Albany Quadrangle courtyard.
According to the LC website, The Albany Quadrangle was built in 1929 when campus was still part of the Fir Acres estate owned by Lloyd Frank of Frank Manor fame. In 1942, Frank donated the estate to Lewis & Clark College.
Shortly after LC inherited the estate, the grounds staff planted the iconic apple trees. LC’s head groundskeeper Max Williams used photographs from the 1940s to determine that the trees were not part of the original estate, and were therefore not historic.
When the grounds maintenance staff took core samples of the apple trees in the Albany Quadrangle, they discovered 95% of some of the trees were rotten.
Concerned with the historic nature of the landscape and the building, Williams made sure to conduct research. “We went through a process of looking at the photographs of the landscaping, and found these trees were not historic”, said Williams. If the trees had been part of the original estate, there would have been more problems with removing them. Knowing that the trees weren’t historic, Williams knew he had to remove them to prevent any possible injury or damage that could be caused by branches or an entire tree falling during a storm.
Planning for the future, Williams is meeting with a consultant to create a new design for the Albany Quadrangle courtyard, replacing the lawn that currently occupies most of the courtyard.