2005_08_13_lizchrystie_tree.jpg Last year, you might remember, we were pretty worried about the future of the plants in one of the city's oldest public gardens, the Liz Christy Garden. AvalonBay was getting ready to build the second building of their Avalon-Christie complex on Houston between the Bowery and Second Avenue and was claiming that in order to "properly" build a basement wall it would need to excavate much of the garden. Such an excavation seemed to be to many the death sentence for the garden's trees, including the towering dawn redwood (the biggest in the borough) which was planted by Liz herself. AvalonBay swore that it would work to protect the trees, but if there is one thing Gothamist has learned over the years it is to never trust a developer.

So color us pleasently surprised. Less than a year later the second Avalon building (206 apartments, "20% affordable") is nearingly completion - whew, that was fast! - and the Villager this week happilly reports that the trees have survived! Even better, the redwood which towered over the garden stands taller then the new Avalon building too. We likey.

And a bonus slipped in the bottom of the article for all you Whole Foodies: The long-delayed 70,000-square foot Whole Foods planned for the South Avalon Chrystie Building (it'll be the boroughs largest supermarket) is now slated to open in the beginning of the new year... What in heaven's could be taking so long? Even the YMCA in that building, which has a pool, has been open for a few months now!

Photograph of the redwood in question from last August.