With its crooked branches that grow parallel to the ground, supported by wires and crutches, the Camperdown elm in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is one of New York City’s most curious trees. But the old arbor that was planted in 1872 was almost chopped down in the 1960s due to its poor condition. A movement to save it, led by local modernist poet Marianne Moore, succeeded in preserving the tree. Allison C. Meier, staff writer at Hyperallergic, shares with us Moore's efforts to anoint the tree Brooklyn’s “crowning curio"— a campaign that instigated renewed appreciation for New York’s parks.
Learn more about the Rosenbach's Marianne Moore collection here.
Allison C. Meier is a Brooklyn-based writer focusing on the arts and overlooked history. Currently, she is staff writer at Hyperallergic, and moonlights as a cemetery tour guide at New York burial grounds. She’s also worked as the senior editor at Atlas Obscura, communications manager at the Cooper Union, staff writer at ARTINFO, and development coordinator at Untitled [ArtSpace]. Freelance work includes stories for the New York Times, Art Desk, ARTNews, Narrative.ly, Brooklyn Based, the Oklahoma Gazette, andOklahoma Today Magazine.
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