The Miniature House Installed In a San Francisco Park Is a Mystery

Near the southern entrance of Golden Gate Park at 19th Avenue and Lincoln Way in San Francisco, a miniature model of a blue-and-yellow Victorian home is perched on a gnarled tree stump about 30 or 40 feet tall. It’s quietly watching over Mothers Meadow — and no one knows how it got there. Last week, the dollhouse-like dwelling surprised a jogger who glanced over at its intricate facade and tiny staircase, then did a double take. A couple of cyclists grinned and pointed at it as if by reflex. A hummingbird curiously fluttered around it before suddenly darting away. Tamara Aparton, a spokesperson for San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department, said it’s been a mystery to the park’s gardeners for more than a month. There’s no signature on the meticulous work of public art to identify its creator, but it appears to come in peace. A message written on the hand-painted plywood in Sharpie reads, “Where there is hatred, let us sow love.” The department’s general manager, Phil Ginsburg, was so charmed by it that he instructed staff not to take it down. Park officials are surprised it had lasted for as long as it had, withstanding inclement weather, gutsy squirrels and meddlesome parkgoers — though they certainly wouldn't get very far without a tall ladder. The colorful building fit for a fairytale isn't exactly uncharacteristic of the park, which is known for fabled fairy doors and "secret" buried treasure hidden within its 1,017 acres of greenery. For now, it’s another source of everyday magic — and a few wisecracks about the city’s housing market.