A cultural landmark is removed, a community reacts

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Museums with impact

A few months ago, I wrote this post celebrating the charming grassroots curatorial project thriving on a sidewalk along Duke Street (across from Landmark Mall) in Alexandria, Virginia. I called it the ‘uncurated’ Christmas tree, not because its free-form curation was confined to a Christmas theme (in fact, the decorations changed periodically to reflect the season and were frequently multi-themed), but because it reminded me of my childhood Christmas trees: eclectic, vibrantly disorganized, and organically co-created. The tree was part of my cultural landscape, something that made me feel connected to my neighborhood.

This evening, my husband and I were driving to dinner and were stunned to see that the tree, once growing through the sidewalk and adorned with a random assortment of eye-catching ephemera, had been removed. In its place was a community memorial with notes, candles, even a framed photograph. Comments on Reddit (RIP Duke Street Tree)…

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