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Would You Like an Arboretum Playhouse? Don't Cost Nuthin'. But There is a Catch.

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Those astounding Storybook Playhouses out at the Dallas Arboretum are getting adiosed at year's end; they'll be good and gone by January 16. But that doesn't mean they're disappearing forever: Bruce Rose, a senior designer at FKP Architects on Travis Street, wants to give away his firm's playhouse, the estimable Eragon. Seriously -- no charge, absolutely gratis, there for the taking.

But, of course, it ain't exactly free.

Rose tells Unfair Park he's had more than 30 takers since first posting the giveaway on Craigslist this week. Problem is, he says, it'll more than likely cost at least $2,000 to disassemble, move, then reassemble the sucker, which weighs 4,000 pounds and was put together and moved the first go-round with the use of a forklift. (The house originally cost around $3,500, Rose says, in addition to FKP's "2,500 manhours.") And, he notes, "taking it down is hard, but putting it back up will be harder." Hence, his worry that, in the end, Eragon will be dismantled and hauled off, that's that.

"So far, I've had everything from people who want to back a truck up and use it for firewood to a couple of folks who talk about relocating it to a park or a children's school," he says. "One guy, who I thought was going to be the likely taker, looked at it closely and decided it wasn't the right time for him."

I suggested that perhaps the city might want to look into taking it off FKP's hands, maybe to put in a park. Matter of fact, he says, that's his first choice: "Somebody with resources like that could really do something with it."

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