Peri Caylor and her neighbors were sad to see a local icon disappear but what surprised them was what replaced it.
It was the sort of good neighbor you couldn’t replace. The nursery behind our house, where you could pick up annuals or bring your dog for a treat, would close after nearly a century. As in countless tales of change in the Bay Area, a developer had snapped up the land.
We watched as pallets of colorful blooms went gray and barren, and noticed the emptiness of the redwood grove where kids once played as their parents shopped.
For a time, the lot’s fate was unknown. Then news came. More than 20 three-story townhomes would fill the space. Our neighbors petitioned. We wrote the city to save the redwoods. Later, viewing the plans, we happily noted that the trees would be preserved.
Soon the industry of people and machines began transforming the land. Workers in helmets marched in daily, bringing the cacophony of construction: the earth-shaking thuds of a pile driver, a sledgehammer’s metallic clatter.