Tree makes way for Bambinos

The Preston street BIA has been planning for some years to install a sculptural bit of landscaping at Preston and Gladstone. Called the Bambinos, it is a concrete installation suggesting family, and a soccer team, and is a gateway to the Italian community.

Some serious digging has been going on at the corner of Preston and Gladstone recently. I can only presume that they are installing the foundations for these sculptures.

the new hole on the southeast corner, near the Adult HS tot-lot. Now that’s a play structure with an exciting view !
Looking deeper into the hole. The concrete box to the left is an underground Bell tel chamber.


 While preparing a new foundation on the northeast corner, they uncovered an older one. Notice the tree on the crest of the little hill, beside the red stake:

Last week, they decided another tree had to go to make room for the Bambinos. Astonishingly, it took barely 20 minutes between the arrival of the wood cutting service, and its departure, having speed-cut the tree, chopped it into sections, and then chipped it into a bazillion little chunks to serve out its next life a wood chips.

the busy intersection keeps on flowing while the tree crew arrives
as fast as the tree is chopped, it is fed into the chipper to become mulch
branches are removed, starting from the base of the tree and working up
Lopping the branches off the trunk. Forty years to grow, 20 minutes to denude
the remaining trunk of the tree is quickly cut into short chunks to feed into the chipper

9 thoughts on “Tree makes way for Bambinos

  1. Good thing they’re getting rid of all these trees and impinging on the play structure for what is sure to be a fantastic display of public art! On a more constructive note: I support infrastructure funds for public art (yes, I know the bambinos are Preston BIA funded), but the approach seems to have gotten a little formulaic: lots of lots of visual clutter (Wellington marbles, Glebe whatevers, now lots of blinky lights on lamposts). How about funding one iconic “thing” that people can actually interact with, and which after awhile (ideally) becomes associated with a single “place”? Or, how about an “Art Fund”, which gets added to after each infrastructure project (at the same percentage), and then funds things all around town, as the merit of the submissions warrants…

  2. In one sense, Chinatown has done just that : one giant piece of sculpture, the Chinatown Royal Arch. Yes, there are other elements, like the asian benches, garbage cans, and lights. And there will be asian zodiac squares in the sidewalks. Somerset is actually one of the few curvy mainstreets we have, and the arch is only visible from a short stretch of chinatown. Which leaves the other merchants feeling that they were left out. Ergo, lots of bitty pieces.

    I also think there is an element of “driving centric” thinking in likeing big pieces that can be seen for a few seconds while driving at 50kmh vs a lot of detailed things to be seen and enjoyed by pedestrians at slow speeds. Its rather like our architecture, which is now big and blocky shapes designed to “admired” by motorists but which are out of scale to the ped realm.

    Something to think about …

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