50-Foot-Tall New Orleans Art Tree House Dismantled
The NOLA Art House, New Orlean’s fantastical, Swiss Family Robinson-esque tree house, constructed largely from debris left behind by Hurricane Katrina, is being dismantled after the sale of the property, reports the Times-Picayune. There are tentative plans to reconfigure the 50-foot-tall artwork in another location, possibly as a mobile installation.
Perched between two trees in the backyard of the neo-classical mansion at 1614 Esplanade Avenue, the tree house was built by a group of artists called Homemade Parachutes, led by chief architect Scott Pterodactyl, in 2008.
The property, which has been home to an arts collective of sorts for about a decade, went up for sale earlier this year (see Curbed report). A June 14 post on the NOLA Art House Facebook page claimed that the home “officially changed hands today,” and that the tree house was being dismantled thanks to a “decision by the new ownership.” While the property’s artist residents “are not being evicted as of now, many residents, including most of the people who maintain the Tree House, are choosing to moving out.”
A later post, dated June 20, explained the necessity of the structure’s demise, saying “we’ve talked about taking the tree house down for years now, and pressure from the new management was just the kick in the pants we needed to finally dismantle the installation.” It goes on to assure the imaginative structure’s fans that “this is not the end for the tree house!” and to describe plans to rebuild it to be bigger, better, and more sustainable.
The tree house featured plastic slides salvaged from fast food restaurant playgrounds, zip lines, rope bridges, and other adventurous architectural components sourced from construction waste left behind by Katrina, and was lit up like a crazy carnival ride at night. In recent years, according the group Facebook page, the collaborative project had it had “fallen into disrepair, and we no longer felt that it was safe to welcome visitors.”
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