In 2013, the San Francisco Parks Department removed a tiny tree door that made a hollow in a tree look like the entryway to the home of a tiny, magical creature. The reasoning was that the door damaged the tree, but San Francisco residents weren’t going to take that laying down. Though it was tiny and easily missed, the faery door had been a cherished token of whimsy in Golden Gate Park.
In response, Parks Department employees reached a deal with the artist who installed the first door, Tony Powell, to create a new tiny door for a fallen eucalyptus log. The tiny wooden door is now there in the park, not far from the site of the original door in Golden Gate Park’s Music Concourse.
Powell has since installed more faery doors in secret locations around the Bay Area. He also published a children’s book on the faeries who live behind the many doors and how to find magic in the everyday.
Some visitors to the faery door will leave offerings for the wee folk, things like bells, shells, rocks, acorns, tiny treats, and tiny rolled up messages. Troy and his son Rio (who live in their own magical abode—a sailboat on the bay) record the faeries’ responses on their website, which can cover everything from love advice to proper pogo stick technique.