Put the chains away. The Kapok tree in front of the St. Pete Museum of Fine Arts is not coming down.
A rumor surfaced over the weekend that the giant Kapok tree in front of the museum where generations of children have climbed along St. Pete’s Beach Drive was going to be removed to make way for an addition to the museum.
According to Susan Robertson, MFA’s marketing director, there are no plans whatsoever to expand.
“Somebody started a rumor,” she said. “And it created a huge uproar.”
Robertson took to Facebook to dispel the rumor.
“We recently conducted a survey to figure out the life expectancy of the Kapok which revealed that aside from any catastrophe the tree is expected to live another 50 years,” Robertson wrote. “There is a lot going on downtown with the pier and waterfront master plan, and any changes to the south side of our building will incorporate the Kapok in the scheme.”
A post on activist Bill Bucolo’s Facebook page drew dozens of comments demanding the tree not be cut down. One commenter even said she’d chain herself to the tree.
“Planted by on our grounds to commemorate the first location of the Art Center, it is a part of us,” a post on the Museum of Fine Arts Facebook page read.
The Kapok tree stays.