Silver Lake's beloved local landmark the Chandelier Tree is truly a unique place, from the 30 namesake chandeliers that hang in its branches to the custom-painted old parking meter beneath it that's set up to take donations to offset electricity costs. Unfortunately, a concerned tipster writes in to tell us that the tree's signature parking meter has been vandalized, "its lock picked and operational equipment removed." The meter was donated to Chandelier Tree creator Adam Tenenbaum by a meter company and set up to both accept coins and process credit card donations free of charge "as a public service"; now that it's been wrecked, it means that a good deal more money for the whimsical monument's upkeep has to come out of Tenenbaum's pockets.
In a post on Facebook, Tenenbaum vents his frustration over the theft, adding that "what was stolen is an entirely useless mechanical piece that is intrinsically linked to our specific account and totally worthless to anyone else." The equipment that was taken can't be resold and the credit card numbers aren't stored in it, so he can't imagine why someone would even want it. He figures the vandal or vandals struct between the time the tree went dark last night (about 10:30 or 11 pm) and this morning before 7 am.
Donations from the meter bring in about $200 a month by Tenenbaum's estimate, he said in a phone call with Curbed, but that money goes straight to the electricity bill to keep the all those sparkling light fixtures on every night. The donations don't yet cover the full bill, and he often ends up paying a good deal more on his own. Now that the credit card capabilities of the meter are gone, it can still collect coins, but that'll probably severely reduce donations. (Tenenbaum says that the previous, coin-only meter brought in about half what the new one did.) But what mostly frustrates him is that getting this meter was a year-long process and since it was donated, he's not sure whether or not the company that offered it to him will be willing to replace the missing parts for free. Tenenbaum is still hopeful that the vital missing meter piece will be returned.
· Arty Parking Meter Helping Pay For Silver Lake Chandelier Tree [Curbed LA]
· Watch the Story of the Magical Chandelier Tree of Silver Lake [Curbed LA]