What’s keeping Silver Lake’s Chandelier Tree in the dark? Uncertainty


SILVER LAKE – Why can’t the Chandelier Tree get relit? At this point, before filing for the right permit, the man who hung those chandeliers wants to be certain that things work out.

“We have to make sure we have a good chance of getting [the permit] prior to applying,” said Adam Tenenbaum, who began hanging lamps from the tree in front of his home  about 11 years ago. “It’s really expensive just to start.”

The cluster of hanging lights at  Silver Lake Drive and Shadowlawn Avenue attracted sightseers from in and beyond the neighborhood before being shut down last autumn because the necessary permits were missing. The property under that tree, it turns out, belongs to the city, not to Tenenbaum’s landlord.


Any special modifications to a city-owned tree requires an R permit from the Bureau of Engineering, according to Mark Pampanin, a spokesman for Councilman David Ryu, whose office has been working with Tenenbaum to obtain and complete the necessary paperwork. Mary Nemick from the Bureau of Engineering confirmed that permit papers have not yet been filed.

“We have to figure out some liability things prior to applying, and make sure we meet all of the requirements,” Tenenbaum said. The permit, among other things, involves having insurance coverage.

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Tenenbaum, a set builder, started decorating the tree with lights  with three unwanted chandeliers left over from a project.  He had planned to hang them inside but his home proved too small. That’s what prompted Tenenbaum and his roommate to hang the fixtures from the tree, he said in a ideo by  filmmaker Colin Kennedy.

Once Tenenbaum clears the permit hurdles, he may turn to a Go Fund Me campaign. But “I don’t want to call upon crowd-sourced funding unless I know we have a good chance of not wasting people’s money.”

Meanwhile, a decorative parking meter near the base of the Chandelier Tree  that was set up to accept donations for its upkeep now flashes this message:

The Chandelier Tree

Permanently Closed

Pending Permitting

Sorry Folks

Sincere Apologies

Huge Love to Silver Lake!

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