Walking through Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood at night, your pathway may be illuminated only by the occasional streetlamp. But as you approach Shadowlawn Avenue, you’ll be met by a cluster of dozens of elegant lightbulbs mysteriously dangling in the sky. If this is the case, you’ve reached one of the city’s most unique hidden attractions: The Chandelier Tree.
Unlike the Chandelier Tree in Leggett, California, Los Angeles’ Chandelier Tree actually has chandeliers on it. Thirty bright, elegant displays of light dangle from the branches of a sycamore tree, welcoming pedestrians and luring in passing drivers. The Chandelier Tree is so beautiful it has even been the site of marriage proposals, wedding photos, and music video shoots.
The Chandelier Tree was created by Adam Tenenbaum, who, when he was working as a set builder, salvaged three leftover chandeliers that would have otherwise been thrown away. These three chandeliers wouldn’t fit well inside his house, so he had to get creative.
One day, a lightbulb flickered on in Tenenbaum’s mind. He decided to get on a ladder, hang the chandeliers on the tree in his yard, and use an intricate system of wiring to connect them to a power source. Voila, the Chandelier Tree was born.
Over the years, Tenenbaum has grown the Chandelier Tree from three light fixtures to 30. He expands his collection by attending an assortment of swap meets and garage sales. To quote Tenenbaum directly, the public art project adds liveliness and joy to the local community, serving as a “local bar without the alcohol.”
Although the Chandelier Tree is accessible to the general public free of charge, the electricity bill for the tree alone is a whopping $200 per month. So, if you visit, make sure to slip Tenenbaum a donation to keep the tree illuminated for years to come!
Update September 2018: The tree is sadly closed.