Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Toppled by Irma, Wish Tree at Salvador Dali Museum to be replanted

MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
Toppled by Hurricane Irma's winds, the Wish Tree at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg will be righted and replanted, a museum spokeswoman said Tuesday.


MONICA HERNDON | Times Toppled by Hurricane Irma's winds, the Wish Tree at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg will be righted and replanted, a museum spokeswoman said Tuesday.

ST. PETERSBURG — The beloved Wish Tree at the Salvador Dalí Museum might live on to accept more dreams.

Apparently toppled by Hurricane Irma's winds, the Florida ficus festooned with colorful admission armbands will be righted and replanted in the coming days, said Kathy Grief, the museum's chief marketing officer.

"It must have just amazing fortitude because it's been taken down with winds in the past and put back up and that is the plan," Greif said. "The tree is intact and seems to be okay."

The tree is a central feature of the museum's "Avant-garden" on the east side facing Tampa Bay. Museum visitors are encouraged to write down a dream on their admission arm bands, which vary in color depending on the day of the week, and tie them to the tree. A small sign beside the trunk says the Wish Tree has roots in Hindu and Scottish traditions.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Dreams mingle in the breeze on Dali Museum's Wish Tree

Social media users reacted with dismay on Monday to photos showing the tree lying at a roughly 45-degree angle, its massive root ball jutting into the air.

Greif said the winds were strong enough to snap steel cables holding down the tree. An arborist was at the museum Tuesday working to make sure it had enough water before a crew comes with a crane to put it back into place. That will likely happen sometime this week.

The tree was a transplant, rescued after being uprooted in a 2010 storm in South Florida. It has been blown down and been righted four times since then, Greif said.

Visitors can place their armbands on the tree itself or to strands hung from the tree for the purpose. Those strands are taken down each week, the wishes recorded for posterity. A selection of them are read at the museum's annual Veterans Day ceremony.

In preparation for the storm, museum employees removed the strands that were hanging on the tree so they would not be lost.

The Wish Tree wasn't the only casualty in the Avant-garden. An olive tree also toppled over but will likely be replanted. Some tall cypress trees that fell might not be salvageable.

Other items outdoor, including a new metal mustache sculpture honoring Dalí's trademark curled facial hair, were unharmed, Greif said.

If you were worried about the famous surrealist's art, don't. The museum was built like a vault, able to withstand Category 5 winds. Workers cover skylights and close the gallery's heavy steel doors before storms come. The Enigma, the museum's signature geodesic glass bubble, is built to withstand Category 3 winds.

Temporarily closed while Irma passed through, the museum will reopen Wednesday, Greif said.

Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

Toppled by Irma, Wish Tree at Salvador Dali Museum to be replanted 09/12/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 12:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bicyclist in critical condition after colliding with vehicle in St. Petersburg

    Accidents

    ST. PETERSBURG — A bicyclist is in critical condition after he ran a red light and was struck by a car on Monday night, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

  2. Myanmar leader sidesteps atrocity allegations in first address on Rohingya crisis (w/video)

    World

    YANGON, Myanmar - In her first major speech Tuesday on the worsening Rohingya crisis, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, sidestepped allegations of atrocities committed against the stateless Muslim minority and cast the conflict as just one of many problems ailing the country.

    A Rohingya Muslim, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carries his belongings as he arrives at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. With a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims sparking accusations of ethnic cleansing from the United Nations and others, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said her country does not fear international scrutiny and invited diplomats to see some areas for themselves. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: Free lunch, school routines, spending cuts and more

    Blogs

    FREE LUNCH: Hurricane Irma caused many families to go without income for a week. Many also lost power, and along with it the food in their refrigerators and freezers. Making matters worse, replacing it isn't so easy, as grocery stores have limited supplies. Hoping to ease the burden, the state has asked for …

  4. Forecast: Sunny, dry conditions prevail throughout Tampa Bay

    Weather

    While many are closely monitoring Hurricane Maria out in the Caribbean, Tampa Bay residents can expect mostly pleasant, dry weather throughout much of the week.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  5. Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores open (w/video)

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Toys 'R' Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season — and says its stores will remain open for business as usual.

    Shoppers shop in a Toys R Us store on Black Friday in Miami in 2016. Toys R Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, announced late Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations. [Associated Press]