Echoing the Past

On the occasion of the Topping Out ceremony this June, the Gardner Museum unearthed an article about Isabella Gardner’s own ‘good-luck’ tree, placed high atop the construction of her museum in 1902. Accompanied with a line drawing of the construction site, the article echoed the mystery that surrounded the construction of the historic museum and offers some insights and speculations into the tree's meaning:

“During the past few days the mysterious building which is being erected for Mrs. John L. Gardner in the Back Bay fens… has furnished a brand new surprise for the curious public… From almost the center of the imposing mass of brick, stone and iron that is slowing resolving itself into a palace, an art museum, or something else equally interesting, there rises today the top of a fir tree, its branches waving joyously in the breeze and its tip turned toward the east, as the tips of all well-regulated fir trees do…”

- “Mrs. Jack Gardner’s Tree Surprise: Top of a Fair-Sized Fir Rises From Her Mysterious Building in the Fens” (Boston Daily Globe, Nov 6, 1900)


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