Once upon a time, a father and son happened upon the perfect house for the fairies and elves in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. The only problem was no front door. How were the fairies assumed to get any privacy? “The doorway seemed to need a door,” says Anthony Powell, the San Francisco resident who discovered the tree along with his son, Rio.
With his son’s aid, Powell carefully built a working door for the tiny opening in the tree. To his surprise that it quickly acquired a fan base, with people leaving treasures inside daily.
The day after locating the shrub, Powell came back with a ruler, a pencil and paper to carefully measure and follow the shape of the doorway. He traced the door’s outline on a sheet of scrap pine, cut it out and sealed it.
Around Valentine’s Day of 2013, Powell mounted the door to the tree having small brass screws to penetrate the bark as little as you can. In addition, he coated the small screws using a shrub sealant from Orchard Supply Hardware to reduce damage to the tree.
Powell and Rio went in their way, leaving the door to its magic and failing to notice that it began to create a stir among San Franciscans.
Truth about the door’s origins swirled about — what from elves to unique Giants pitcher Brian Wilson. It was only in mid-March that somebody forwarded Powell an article about the door, realizing his creative handiwork.
Visitors have been so touched by the door that they’ve left different trinkets for whatever little beings they prefer to imagine live inside. Every few days the shrub gets dressed up with ribbons, flowers and branches. Powell has discovered flowers, candy, nuts for squirrels, little seashells, tiny toys, notes and more.
“I’ve enjoyed reading some of the notes left inside, mainly from kids, asking questions such as whether the tooth fairy is real and such,” Powell says. Although he initially put answers to some of the notes (“Yes! Fairies are genuine!”) Back inside, the hollow obtained so complete that he gave up that. He’s currently developing a site where he can post messages to and answers from the fairies. “I am happy that most men and women realize that just because the item was made with human hands does not indicate that there wasn’t any magic guiding them,” Powell says.
Here, Powell’s son Rio poses using a stuffed friend beyond the door soon after its installation. “Rio hasn’t been much impressed with the media focus,” says Powell. “But he does like to visit the tiny door and has left some messages to the fairies, too.”
The door hasn’t been without controversy. San Francisco’s Recreation & Park Department, like many other parks sections, has a clear policy against installing items on trees in the playground, no matter how small. The section removed the door, but after public outcry replaced it with an identical model, which is on the tree today.
Powell has been working on new tiny door layouts that don’t have to be attached to a tree in any way. He’s working on potentially utilizing a narrow bet as a pinion or hinge, or developing a framework for the door that could be procured by a structure inside the hollow.
He expects to work out the kinks for these new designs soon. Until then, as adorable and carefully attached as this fairy door is, installations on trees are likely better suited to your own magical backyard.
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