It appeared one day in early March: A tiny wood door with tinier hinges and the tiniest doorknob, snugly fit into the base of a tree on the concourse of Golden Gate Park outside the de Young.
The humble home delighted locals, who left little offerings behind the door, including notes in childís scrawl asking if the tooth fairy is real and if elves can predict the future.
But on Tuesday, the door was gone. The culprit? Rec and Parks workers, who are required to remove anything thatís bolted into the tree.
After brief but intense outcry from door fans, Rec and Parks officials say the door was re-installed Wednesday afternoon.
But it canít stay.
ďOur well-intended and professional staff removed the door, as it is our policy to remove anything bolted to trees,Ē Rec and Parks spokeswoman Sarah Ballard said in a statement. ďAs this whimsical addition to Golden Gate Park has captured the publicís imagination, the door will remain up until the elves find a more permanent home.Ē
That last phrase, officials explained, means the door canít stay and will be taken down again, though they couldnít give an estimate as to when.
The doorís bolts damage the tree and hurt its chances of healthy growth in the future, just as would anything else nailed into a public tree. Even cute vandalism is vandalism, apparently.
Letís hope Rec and Parks has a plan to deal with a family of angry homeless elves.