Christmas Tree Lane Association (CTLA) completed the installation at the Bob Lucas Memorial branch of the Altadena Libraries (Lincoln and Ventura). The bench is a beautiful ‘live edge’ cedar slab that is a full 4” thick!
By Jerry Friedman
The wood came from a Deodar Cedar tree that spent its life on Christmas Tree Lane. It is 100% locally harvested, reclaimed wood. The county contracted West Coast Arborists to do the tricky removal of the tree, which had died. As one of the largest arborists in the state, they remove a lot of wood and have developed programs to reclaim as much of the ‘waste’ wood as practical. WCA gave Christmas Tree Lane Association a discounted price on 2 slabs 8’ long, 4’ wide and 4” thick as part of their willingness to support this community effort. They cut the tree and transported it to a mill for rough sawing. After the wood was air dried for a couple of years it went into a kiln for final drying. Once the moisture content was low enough, the wood was milled to finished thickness.
When the 2 slabs arrived back in Altadena their actual size and weight had been greatly underestimated! These were huge and incredibly heavy pieces of wood! Luckily Vincent Wood Works/Pasadena Lumber, a local wood mill volunteered his time, knowledge and equipment to cut the 2 slabs into 8 more manageable pieces, perfect for this project. CTLA bought the rocks used to support each end of the bench which created a very natural Southern California feel that blends really well with the landscape at the library.
This bench is the first of four benches CTLA will install. A second bench is planned for the main branch of the Library on Santa Rosa Ave. That will come after the planned renovations are completed there. The location of the remaining two benches is being negotiated. CTLA would like to see them installed along Christmas Tree Lane but they don’t own any of that [county] property.
A lot of people contributed to this project. Many of them volunteered their time, goods, and services toward this project. Others gave much appreciated discounts or other assistance. There will be a plaque at some point in the future – But it will not name all the hands that touched this wood before it could be made into a bench. CTLA volunteers Steve Rose, Scott Wardlaw, and Jerry Friedman did the actual installation under the watchful eye of Jonathan Arevalo from the Altadena Library.
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