To counter allegations by Pinnacle Group, which seeks to remove the trees in the courtyard between the A.T. White Riverside Apartments and the BQE to build an underground parking garage, that the trees are of recent growth, Bill Ringler, President of the Riverside Tenants’ Association, has done some sleuthing and found this photo, dating from the early 1900s and published in Hayes Historical Journal — A Journal of the Gilded Age, Volume IX, Number 1 (Fall 1989).
According to Mr. Ringler:
The photo was taken from the South of the fountain facing North to the rear of 24 Joralemon Street. The buildings on the left were demolished in the 50’s to construct the BQE. These trees are the same ones that exist today. It is evident by the limbs on the trees.
The photo is of the teachers and students of the Willow Place Chapel Kindergarten of the First Unitarian Church.
Addendum: Below is another photo taken at the same occasion, as it appeared on the cover of the Journal:
The flag has 45 stars, a configuration which lasted from 1896 to 1907.