Recently we came across this archived photo of a lonely tree growing out of the roof of the old courthouse clock tower. According to our all-knowing OCRHC friend Whitney Broadaway, the Collections Manager of the History Center, the tree was one of her most favorite mysteries.
The tree had apparently grown in the roof, untouched, for a number of years and had grown to be something of an ongoing joke for Orlando residents. This was during the same time that Betty Smith’s novel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, had hit the literary scene in the early ’40s.
According to a brief note on the back of the photo, the tree was lovingly removed from the dilapidated tower and replanted near Lake Eola. The lack of maintenance of the tower was what led to its ultimate demise in 1957, when it was torn down. The clock is currently on display at the History Center. But what about the tree?
We love when our readers ask us questions, but now it’s our turn! If you have a lead, please feel free to reach out and let us know! We’ll be poking our heads around the park in the coming weeks as we try to find an ignored plaque or some sort of marker that could point the way.