Sarah Lawrence College Repurposes Trees for The Barbara Walters Campus Center

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In preparation for the construction of The Barbara Walters Campus Center, a number of existing trees needed to be removed from the project site. The decision to remove these trees was not taken lightly. Throughout all the discussions around tree removal and preservation, a key priority was the repurposing of as much wood as possible, ideally for the furniture needs of the new campus center. This desire led the College to partner with NYCitySlab.

NYCitySlab is a local lumberjack and custom furniture organization located in Yonkers, New York. NYCitySlab is dedicated to saving fallen trees, rescuing and recycling beautiful wood slabs, and transforming them into works of masterful craftsmanship and function.

Prior to the removal of the trees, the College met with NYCitySlab to review the species, heights, trunk sizes, and shapes of trees proposed for repurposing. This consultation allowed the trees to be removed with a particular methodology in order to maximize their potential for reuse. Approximately 50 percent of the trees removed were of suitable shape and quality to be repurposed into furniture. In total, these trees will be transformed into 29 tables for the new campus center’s dining pavilion.

In addition, several cuttings were made from the Kwanzan Cherry tree—beloved by so many—that was located on Andrews Lawn. These cuttings have been growing in the campus’ greenhouse and will be planted on campus this spring. Also, some of the wood from this cherry tree will be transformed into a coffee table to be prominently displayed in Westlands.