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Did You Know There Are Palm Trees in Philly?

December 5, 2020

Did y’all know there are palm trees in Philly? Well, sort of…

As we inch closer and closer to the winter months, you might be one of the many that are warmed by the fact that at four intersections along North 5th Street at least a bunch of trees will not be losing their leaves. That’s because they’re steel palm tree art installations that pay homage to the neighborhood’s Latinx community!

Created by artist Wendell Turner, the palm trees can be found at each intersection along North 5th Street from Lehigh Avenue to Indiana Street. They were installed back in 2011 as part of a larger streetscape improvement project that also transformed the sidewalks; added new lighting and trash/recycling containers; and installed a number of public art elements.

“A beloved symbol of the many Latin American islands represented in the local population, the palms range in height from seven to fifteen feet, each hand-crafted and numbered, welded permanently to the sparkling sidewalks,” reports Theresa Stigale for Hidden City Philadelphia in an article that explores the project and corridor in more detail. Definitely make sure to check that out.

Every time I happen to come across these installations I smile, and I suspect it does the many for a lot of Philadelphians as well. P.s. If you’re not yet supporting the area’s nonprofit arts organization Taller Puertorriqueño, be sure to learn more about their work too!

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