The Brooklyn Eagle’s Mary Frost reports that the weeping willow tree that’s called 75 Henry Street’s Whitman Close home for 47 years has fallen and died.
Brooklyn Eagle: A gardener called in to cut the tree up said that it was very old – up to 75 years – and showed signs of rot. According to online sources, 75 years would be quite old for a weeping willow, but not impossible.
It is more likely, however, that the tree was planted when the 75 Henry St. complex, called Whitman Close, was built in the late 60s, making the willow roughly 47 years old. Older residents confirm that the willow was put in before the landscapers planted the London plane trees that grace the property.
If so, the tree was planted at the same time as the red brick print shop where Walt Whitman set the type for the first edition of “Leaves of Grass” was torn down. The print shop was removed to make room for Whitman Close, named in honor of the poet.
While the print shop is gone, old-timers say that its red bricks were saved, and can be seen embedded in the ground around the large circular planter near the A train stop on Cadman Plaza West.