House of Leaves

As kids, we'd imitate adults, dressing up in our mother's clothes or playing doctor with the neighbor kid. We'd build forts out of couch cushions and comforters--a sovereign nation within the living room. If we were lucky, we had access to a few tools, some discarded wood and a perfect tree in the backyard, whose branches were sturdy and expansive enough to build an even better home away from home: a tree house. The Dallas Arboretum pays homage to this fine tradition with a salute to Ultimate Tree Houses, designed by local architects. From a pool of 55 entries, 13 designs were chosen by a jury (including Channel 8's Gloria Campos and Donald Gatzeke of the UT Arlington School of Architecture) and built on the grounds of the Arboretum. These are no ramshackle plywood-and-paint jobs; instead, designs are imaginative and fun, incorporating traditional elements and postmodern style with a whimsical flair. Ultimate Tree Houses will be on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of the year at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road. Tickets are $8 for adults, with discounts available for seniors, children and members. Call 214-515-6500 or visit
July 13-Dec. 31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
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Darci Ratliff