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Franklin Street Tree Lives on as Trophy

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Corner of Franklin and Columbia

A tree in front of Spanky’s at the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets has become a trophy. (Photo by Regina Oliver ’75)

A tree in front of Spanky’s at the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets has become a trophy.

The town of Chapel Hill topped the tree, already scheduled for removal, after fans celebrating the men’s NCAA basketball championship in April tore off some of its limbs. But the tall stump provided one more chance to celebrate.

“We wanted to recognize the extraordinary athleticism of the men’s basketball team,” Jeffrey York, the town’s public arts administrator, told The Chapel Hill News.

So Dwight Bassett, a master wood carver and the town’s economic development director, was brought in to create Chapel Hill’s first public woodwork.

The tribute is temporary, but it might last until the Heels get a chance to defend their title next spring, depending on how the still-live tree trunk holds up.


Related coverage is available online:

  • “To Love Like This” – It used to be just between you and the TV set. The Heels won their latest in the age of the networked fanatic. From the May/June 2009 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, available online to GAA members.
  • Sightings – The scene on Franklin Street after the national championship. From the May/June 2009 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, available online to GAA members.

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