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. Bucs have chance to beat Vikings in their third stadium

    Bucs

    Here's a cool sign that the Bucs are getting up there as an NFL franchise: If Tampa Bay can win Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, it will mark the first time the Bucs have posted road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.

    TIMES ARCHIVES (2012) | Bucs RB Doug Martin runs during Tampa Bay's 36-17 win at the Vikings in 2012, in what was then called Mall of America Field. If Tampa Bay wins Sunday, it will mark the first time they have road wins against the same NFL opponent in three different stadiums.
  2. Memorial for Snooty the manatee, postponed because of Irma, to be held Sunday

    Wildlife

    A public memorial to celebrate the life of 69-year-old Snooty the manatee will be held at the South Florida Museum on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

    Snooty , the world's most celebrated manatee, begs for another slice of apple in his pool in the Parker Manatee Aquarium at the South Florida Museum in Bradenton in 2008. Snooty was 60 then. [Times 2008]
  3. Residents wade through a flooded road after the passing of Hurricane Maria, in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, September 22, 2017. Because of the heavy rains brought by Maria, thousands of people were evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. [Associated Press]
  4. NFL commissioner, players' union angrily denounce Trump comments on national anthem

    Bucs

    SOMERSET, N.J. — The National Football League and its players' union on Saturday angrily denounced President Donald Trump for suggesting that owners fire players who kneel during the national …

    President Donald Trump walks off the stage after he speaks at campaign rally in support of Sen. Luther Strange, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, in Huntsville, Ala. [Associated Press]
  5. New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico

    World

    MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, causing new alarm in a country reeling from two still-more-powerful quakes this month that have killed nearly 400 people.

    Locals play pool at a venue in Mexico City's La Condesa neighborhood, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, four days after the 7.1 earthquake. The upscale Mexico City neighborhood was one of the hardest hit, with more than a half-dozen collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity. The few Condesa residents who ventured out Friday night said they were anxious for relief from an anguishing week. [Associated Press]