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The Illicit Griffith Park Teahouse is Going Legit

Not so secret tea house

A photo posted by Jereld Woo (@instajereld) on

Soak up those amazing views while you can, Los Angeles: the Griffith Park Teahouse's days seem to be numbered. When the adorable, unpermitted wooden tea retreat popped up deep in Griffith Park less than a month ago (snuck in by a group of artists and placed atop an existing concrete foundation), most sensed that it would not be long for this world—and in fact, says KCRW's Design & Architecture, it has a looming expiration date: July 26. Update 1:52 pm: a rep for Rec and Parks tells LAist that the artists who made the teahouse have given it to the city; now the city just needs to figure out what to do with it. Options include keeping it where it is in Griffith Park, moving it to a new location, or taking it on the road as a "traveling piece of art." "Because everybody loves it, we don't want to destroy it," the rep says.

Right after the serene hut opened on June 30, the artists involved went to the Department of Recreation and Parks and promised to maintain the teahouse in exchange for amnesty—Rec and Parks agreed to issue a temporary permit, which the artists hoped would eventually be extended. Now, it seems that it will not be, and the permit is set to expire on July 26. As soon as July 27, the city could be taking the teahouse down.

Since July 1—a day after its official opening—the creators of the project were letting its admirers know that the city probably wasn't going to let the fun go on too long.

A petition started around that time, though, has rapidly gathered signatures and now has about 3,000, but to no apparent affect.

The collective that installed the 80-square-foot shelter issued a statement saying, "We're grateful to the city for accepting the teahouse as a gift. We're grateful to all the people who have hiked up to see the teahouse, leave a wish, ring the bell." DnA hears, meanwhile, that the teahouse might vanish from Griffith but appear somewhere else. Considering that it was built overnight (it's made of prefab pieces), it could easily pop up anywhere. A new location for the little house would keep in step with the whole theme of regeneration and renewal it represents: the teahouse was built from the wood of trees salvaged from the park, including ones burned in the 2007 Griffith Park Fire.

· Is it Goodbye to the Griffith Park Teahouse? [DnA]
· Griffith Park Now Has an Illicit Teahouse With Amazing Views [Curbed LA]