Monday, July 18, 2005

Dr. Fights to Save Tree in My Ward

Mary Schmich's Sunday column was about a doctor in my ward who has been fighting to save a tree. I've blogged a bit earlier about the gigantic, 4-lot, multi-million dollar homes going up just a few blocks from my townhome. But, this guy, god bless him, is going ballistic about the developers' attempts to cut down a 100+-year-old tree on the street.

Here's an excerpt:

Dr. Buchman is Alan Buchman, a gastroenterologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. For more than a year, he has been fighting for a tree the way some men fight for God, country and playoff tickets.

The object of Buchman's ardor is an old silver maple, and he has called me about it over and over, along with environmentalists, other news media and City Hall.

"I've never encountered anyone like him," said Vi Daley, the 43rd Ward Alderman. "He's very sensitive to the trees on his block."

Buchman and his wife, Diane, live on Burling Street in Lincoln Park, on a block so gorged with new luxury development that, he says, construction vehicles are often triple parked.

Recently, when he said, "Good morning" to one of the few remaining old-timers, the man, accustomed to developers on the prowl, snapped back, "Not for sale!"

The imperiled maple stands on city property, in a patch of buckled brick, shading Buchman's townhouse but impeding driveway access of a big new next-door house proposed by a Maine developer.

Buchman's tree fight has kept the lot empty.Buchman says that this contest between new development and old trees extends all over construction-crazed Chicago--and that the trees are losing.

The article goes on to say that Buchman added a video survellience camera to monitor the tree so no one chops it down "on the sly." I'm going to put a call into my alderman today and drop an e-mail to Buchman. Will keep you posted on the tree fight.

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