This was the scene at Daley Plaza late Wednesday afternoon, as mayor Rahm Emanuel and ABC7's Val Warner and Mike Caplan lit Chicago's official 2011 Christmas Tree. A 55-foot-tall Colorado spruce brought in from the Spangler home in Western Springs, where it was threatening the foundations, it's s all of a piece.
click image for larger viewIt wasn't always so. Not that long ago, the Daley Center Chistmas tree soared over a hundred feet tall, a construction project of over a hundred individual trees carefully stitched together to appear as one. Check out our photo essay from 2007, It's the Great Chicago Christmas Tree (Some Assembly Required).
The compound tree Christmas display of yore was an extravagance of fearsome proportions. I walk across the Daley Plaza daily, and used to marvel at the large crew of city (or were they county?) employees and equipment who would spend a good ten days on each end erecting and then dismantling the great compound tree. I don't know if anyone ever ran the numbers to determine what this cost the public, but I suspect it would have been enough to activate the Grinch in anyone but a union steward.
The new tree is real, realistic and porportioned to what the Christmas Spirit should be... focused within our hearts not on our wallets.
I applaud using a single tree, especially when the chosen tree is slated for removal anyway. Bravo Chicago!
I visited Daley Plaza over the weekend and heard many comments as I waited in the thick crowds: "That tree looks pathetic!", "That tree is old school", "They must have saved a bundle on the tree".
I suppose you could say the tree looks puny next to the skyscrapers around it, but it looks A-OK to me. In this day and age, saving a bundle isn't a bad thing is the end result is still handsome.
Last year's donated tree looked beautiful. I am very disappointed with this year's tree. It looks half dead and is not full enough at all. My 5 ft living room tree would have looked better in the Plaza.
Amazing and very moving video.. You can actually feel the excitement :)
Do you have any idea if they're using artificial christmas trees or real ones?
That is pretty cool, all the services that are available. I was wondering, I've been looking into a Chicago tree removal service and was wondering which this is and if you had a good experience. Thanks!!
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