Brennan of The Tree

by Bernard McCormick Tuesday, March 19, 2013 13 Comment(s)

Rendering: Marina Lofts/BIG
The case of Brennan of The Tree is getting a lot of publicity, mostly in favor of Brennan and The Tree. The tree is the famous rain tree that sits on the south side of the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. It sits where a developer wants to put up another high-rise building in a section that already has too many. The tree is in his way. Brennan is Chris Brennan, the chap who lost his job with the Water Taxi because he refused to stop advocating for the tree. This happened after the developer, who happens to be Water Taxi’s landlord, complained about him. He is now a bartender, according to Sun-Sentinel columnist Mike Mayo. Judging by his quotes in the paper, and a video he posted online, Brennan should make a good one. He’s exceptionally articulate and bartending is one profession where advocating for almost anything will build a loyal following.

The rain tree may be the largest of its kind in the country. It received a protected designation from Fort Lauderdale some years back. The developer bought the property with the tree on it. Now he wants it gone to make room for two big buildings, including Marina Lofts (pictured here). He wants to move it. Many tree experts say the tree would not survive.

Does this situation remind you of people who move in on top of an airport and then complain about the noise of the airplanes or expansion of runways? Or souls who buy houses near railroads – railroads that were there 100 years before them – and then clamor for ordinances to prevent the trains from shattering their sleep with horns, horns designed to warn motorists at crossings that never should have been allowed in the first place?

This fight comes at a strange time. Those in favor of the project say it will provide needed jobs. There were plenty of jobs 10 years ago, and the buildings they went into now are filled with foreclosures. Do we really need another high rise on the New River, with thousands of units already approved and underway not far away in downtown Fort Lauderdale? And with traffic, at least in season, getting so bad that you actually have a hard time at rush hour getting out of your office parking lot?

We confess to a bias on the subject of trees. Our neighborhood, a famous hammock, is defined by its old oaks. You do not get such neighborhoods by cutting down the oaks. Enough go away naturally, and one, which sat on our property line behind the house, was uprooted in Hurricane Wilma. It was an unnatural natural event. There was an ancient mango tree in the yard behind us. The storm blew a huge section from the top of the mango down on our smaller oak. The oak was not ancient, but it wasn’t a kid, either. It was a foot thick when we moved in 42 years ago. Anyway, the oak was uprooted. Trees were uprooted all over the area that year, and many of them were propped back up, took root and are still there and growing.

In the frantic effort to clean up (we also had a major oak snap and land on our roof) we chose not to raise the tree on the property line. Had we done so, a builder would not have been able to put up a big (and currently unoccupied) house that replaced a cottage on the property behind us. The oak tree could not have been legally removed, especially with much of it on our property, and the swimming pool that goes with the big house would not have been built under the branches of an oak. The builder, by the way, cut down the old mango, which we guess was legal. We were just learning to like mangos.

So add one more voice in support of Brennan of The Tree. We may even run up to the joint where he is working to lend moral support.

Comments

Thanks for a very nice and well written story/arti...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Thanks for a very nice and well written story/article about Brennan of The Tree! I thoroughly enjoyed the read!
steve sticht


SIGN THE PETITION TO SAVE THE TREE: http://signo...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

SIGN THE PETITION TO SAVE THE TREE: http://signon.org/sign/save-the-fort-lauderdale.fb23?source=c.fb&r_by=58799


You are wrong on this one Mr. McCormick. You shou...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

You are wrong on this one Mr. McCormick. You should meet the developer and get his side of the story.


Thank you for writing about this. -robin merrill

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Thank you for writing about this.
-robin merrill


"I think that I shall never see A poem lovely...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

"I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree ...
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree."

Thanks to Mr. Joyce Kilmer, Bernie, and the good nuns at Immaculate Conception elementary school of Phila., Pa.


Wrong?? Seems pretty black and white. Developer wa...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Wrong?? Seems pretty black and white. Developer wants to cut down the tree. And whoever stands in HIS way of building a bigger bank account...well down they go. Like the tree. The developers voice HAS been heard, just ask Chris.
And REALLY if the sleazy developer had any legs to stand on, don't you THINK he would have been vocal at SOME point?


another half empty building displacing nature. i h...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

another half empty building displacing nature. i hope the tree stays


what story is needed? in 1987 the commission decl...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

what story is needed? in 1987 the commission declared that no one can mess with the tree. PERIOD. but now some punk with money thinks he is above that protection. and then has someone fired for speaking out against the situation. "Asi" Cymbal is a spoiled little punk. i'd spit in his face if i ever met him.


It's sad that the only comments you get are al...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

It's sad that the only comments you get are all from the sick illiterate idiot Steve Sticht. Is he the reader you have?


Developer does not want to cut down the tree. He h...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

Developer does not want to cut down the tree. He hired the top tree moving company in America to preserve and protect the tree. The drooling idiot Chris Brennan only uses trees to pee on them.


WRONG, STINK BREATHE!. The Commission only said th...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

WRONG, STINK BREATHE!. The Commission only said they would need to oversee anything done with the tree. And if you even met Cymbal you'd mess in your pants.


If you want to SAVE THE TREE, support the develope...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

If you want to SAVE THE TREE, support the developer's plan to preserve and protect the tree by putting it in a special park dedicated to the public.


HOW is this no talent Looney Tunes character still...

This Comment had been Posted by mmccormick

HOW is this no talent Looney Tunes character still at large?


Add new comment