Rescued Historic Tree Finds New Life at Renovated Uptown Library
The historic Central Library, built by renowned local architect William H. Harrison, is a classic midcentury
component of the Civic Center. Photographed by noted artist Julius Schulman, our library was
prominently featured in architectural magazines of the era. The holly oak tree that graced the patio outside
the children’s section was planted in the late 1950s as part of the original library scheme.
Two years ago, Conservancy members came up with the idea of recycling the wood from the 60-year-old oak
when it was removed to make way for the new addition to the library. The sustainable use of the tree as stools
in the new children’s section not only “preserves” the iconic oak, but is also a teaching tool to show Whittier’s
future generations that the tree is still with them—just in another form.
The Conservancy commissioned local artist Lauren Verdugo to design and produce children’s stools and Max
Willson to create a beautiful one-of-a-kind wall piece for the new mezzanine meeting room. Both of these
unique efforts were two years in the making and we are very proud of this legacy project.