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Griffith Park Now Has an Illicit Teahouse With Amazing Views

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At dawn yesterday morning, a small group of anonymous artists and their friends quietly celebrated the opening the Griffith Park Teahouse, a tiny wood structure high on Mt. Bell made with the wood of trees that burned in the 2007 Griffith Park Fire. The artists "surreptitiously installed" the 80-square-foot structure on Monday night, carrying prefabricated pieces in and bolting them to an existing concrete foundation (probably from an old utility shack), Carolina Miranda reports at the LA Times. The spot "offers breathtaking views of the Verdugos and the San Gabriels, not to mention the 5 Freeway."

The artists began work six months ago collecting singed, fallen wood from the fire, along with redwoods that the city had cut down and planned to mulch (they didn't cut anything down). A pro woodworker helped create a design from what they'd found: "a slat roof inspired by Japanese lines, as well as strategically placed windows that frame views of the city and the mountains." There's also a bell and a relief carving of a griffin in the eaves—part red-tailed hawk, commonly found in the park, and part P-22, the Griffith Park Mountain Lion (the griffin has a tracking collar!).

Part of the art of the matter is how the city will respond. Will it leave the harmless but unsanctioned little gift or tear it down? For now, it appears to still be up.

· From the ashes: Artists create teahouse in Griffith Park with wood from 2007 fire [LAT]