The First Treehouse
Norman Gardner built two treehouses: one for his children and one for his grandchildren. There is no known photographic record of the first treehouse, constructed in a Japanese contemporary style at Gardner’s own home in New Rochelle. This treehouse was not built in a tree but rather below and tucked into the canopy of a large tulip tree. It had its own base anchored into the side of a rocky hillside, that elevated the back portion of the yard. The treehouse served as a launching point for a rope swing hung by Gardner on a sturdy branch of the tree, thereby enabling kids to swing from the back edge of the property all the way to the side of the house.
The Second Treehouse
Gardner built the second treehouse over the course of three or four visits to California in 2005 and 2006. He was aided in this effort by his daughter, Valerie, and his granddaughters, Amelia and Sarah.