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Faulkenberry Tree House
While on a family vacation during the summer of 2011, my 15-year old daughter got a text from a friend that her dad had just died unexpectedly. When we got home we found that Reid Faulkenberry, 40, had died of a heart attack on May 22nd. Surviving him were his wife, Jana, and their 5 children, ranging at that time from ages 7 to 15. Later that summer we had Sidney, the oldest daughter, over for Sunday dinner and hanging out. She loved the tree swing in our front yard and asked if I'd put one in her backyard.
A while later I visited her family to put the swing in one of their big trees. The kids were excited. I asked Jana if there was anything else I could do for the kids. She said that Reid had talked about building a tree house for a couple years, but hadn't gotten to it. A tree house! Heck, I'm an architect. I could get really excited about a tree house. I took the idea back to the office and the entire staff got excited and wanted to help volunteer their time to design and build it. After a little more thought we decided each kid would need their own space, so we designed it with 5 lofts, three in one tree and two in another connected by a suspension bridge.
It cost about $3000 in materials and the suspension bridge is 35 feet long. We had about 30 volunteers to help with the construction, and commercial help from Christopolous & Kennedy Construction, Associated Scaffolding, Cortese Tree Specialists and Home Depot
Gregor Smee, AIA
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