It’s been a sight for nearly 27 years on Minnetonka Boulevard in St. Louis Park, across from City Hall.
But last week, Mark Tucker’s seven-tiered treehouse appeared to be in peril when a windstorm tore a limb off the giant maple in which it’s nestled.
Tucker sounded confident, however, saying he was pretty sure his treehouse will last. It’s had quite a history.
Back in the late 1980s, when Tucker started building the structure for his son and it rose ever higher and higher, the treehouse got him in a legal dispute with the city over zoning codes and safety regulations.
But he solicited lots of public support for his unusual architectural feat, and in 1988, a Hennepin County judge ruled in his favor and he was able to finish the structure, with some rules — regular safety inspections, assessments for the tree’s health, and safety cages among them, according to the St. Louis Park Historical Society.
The treehouse, one of the largest in the nation, has been in books, and the controversy around its construction even found its way into the New York Times.
Elizabeth Hustad is a University of Minnesota student reporter on assignment for the Star Tribune.