LA city hall orders destruction of "bamboo masterpiece" treehouse


They are looking for cash in fines and she is an easy target, not super wealthy and/or connected, or as she said, it is retribution for complaining about development that was probably a pet project of someone at city hall via favors, campaign contributions, pay to play, and on and on. Of course I can’t say for certain, but this crap happens all the time.


Ugh, I hate this. Because on the one hand, McMansions suck (but probably don’t violate any building codes), whereas giant backyard treehouses are awesome, but obviously DO violate several building codes.

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Hell-A living up to its reputation. Southern California would be a great place to live, if it weren’t for the people.
(Former resident)

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I wouldn’t call the new construction in Venice “McMansions.” “McMansions” usually applies to large cheaply made cookie cutter houses build in inexpensive land. These are large homes but they are almost all modern architecture uniquely designed and build (on very expensive land).

Venice IS loosing its historic character though. That tree house looks great I hope it can stay.

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The treehouse was designed and built by Jo Scheer, an artist who works with bamboo and bases his designs on the “hooch” structures he saw during his service in the Vietnam War.


But it was up for like 10 years, or so, right?

Not knowing the local codes I couldn’t say, but I would be wary of the word “obviously”. On my property, I am exempt from most of the building code provisions that others must follow, as long as I repair and maintain my buildings using period materials and methods. This is because my buildings are “historically significant”… just like this treehouse!


Get it declared a landmark. Then it would be illegal to demolish it. Yay!

This. There are probably structural concerns that can be taken care of with additional work or drawings that simply haven’t been filed. I’m willing to bet there are fire codes at play with second egresses to be added which pretty much means they need to add a slide or a firepole!

If the local councilmember is willing to help her pore through the codes she should be able to find an engineer willing to sign off on a lot of it.


It would seem to me that if you’ve got a questionable structure on your property drawing attention to oneself by being critical of what others want to erect on their own property is bad practice.

I have nothing against the treehouse and I hope she is able to keep it. But why she should have a “right” to have a particular structure while protesting that others do not have similar rights?


People in bamboo treehouses shouldn’t throw rocks…

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I find it sad that in today’s world, Charles Ingalls would have faced stiff fines and penalties for building the Little House on the Prarie. Of course, back then, if a lawyer came to your door, you just shot 'em with buckshot and told him to git.

Who says she protested that others didn’t have the right? One can complain about something (especially aesthetics) without denying anyone’s rights.

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Well, the article states “17 related code violations” - so I thought it was apt.

10 years isn’t really that long of a time, really. If it violates code, and they didn’t get permits to build it (which appears to be the case), the city can make her tear it down. 10 years isn’t really old enough to qualify it as a historic building, I don’t think.

Having said that, she does have a city councilman helping her navigate the paperwork, so I think chances are pretty good she’ll at least have a CHANCE of getting to keep it.

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Yes, I understand that. My point being that whatever her displeasure might have been with the development, it might have garnered attention from officials, who apparently had ignored said code violations for 10 years. Either they started to look into her property because of her displeasure, or someone decided to complain about it to get even, or there was a push to get money for the budget and high salaries in government, so the officials decided to go looking for things to fine in general.

Oh yes, it is ABSOLUTELY a case of “Woman complains about rich people’s houses, suddenly ends up under microscope herself”. Whether it was her neighbours that decided to complain (possible) or just one of the rich folks she was complaining about deciding to flex their muscles, doesn’t really matter at this point. I hope she doesn’t stop her protesting because of this though.

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Well, again I don’t know the codes in her area. But ten years is certainly old enough to qualify as historic in theory - the criteria for historic aren’t really primarily about the age of the structure, although age does contribute heavily.

For example, using the code where I live, a 20 year old tract home would be historic if all the other 200 identical tract homes surrounding it had been torn down, and the surviving home incorporated interesting features or represented a significant stage in the work of the architect or builder. An even better example is Delaware’s only Frank Lloyd Wright house - it was was historic the day it was completed in 1958.

Well, the artist responsible for this bad boy is no Frank Lloyd Wright. But that’s still an interesting look at it that I hadn’t considered. I guess we’ll see how it turns out.

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