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Volume 73, Number 29 | November 19 - 25, 2003



‘Stuyvesant’s pear tree’ replanted on 13th St.

Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

Pitching in at the dedication of the planting of a new pear tree at the northeast corner of E. 13th St. and Third Ave. last Wednesday morning were, from left, Jami Morse Heidegger, granddaughter of Kiehl’s founder, Irving Morse; former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern; Bill Van Winkle, president of the Holland Society of New York; Manhattan borough Parks Commissioner Bill Castro and Philip Clough, Kiehl’s president. The spot was once home to what was believed to have been the oldest tree in New York City, planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant, the former Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, after he brought it from Holland. The spot became known as “Pear Tree Corner.” However, in 1857, two horse-drawn carriages collided and plowed into the tree, killing it. Kiehl’s was founded in 1851, and used to be on the corner, where it was called Pear Tree Pharmacy, for Stuyvesant’s tree. The pharmacy moved two doors north in 1958, but recently moved back to the corner space after Cafe Centosette moved out, and completed a renovation. Kiehl’s Clough petitioned the city to plant a new pear tree at the historic location. With 6,740 square feet, the restored Kiehl’s New York flagship store offers expanded product categories in addition to its mainstays of face, hair and body products, and a full-service café. Visual elements inside pay homage to the store’s owners as well as renowned Greenwich Village writers, poets and lyricists. Also on display are four vintage motorcycles. Outside, on the new “Pear Tree Corner,” the store’s exterior sports a “timeline,” extending from one end of the three storefronts to the other, highlighting interesting events that have taken place since the pharmacy’s founding 153 years ago.


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