Weighing in at 8 tons (that’s 16,000 pounds for the math-impaired), this steampunk treehouse looks more like a Wes Craven nightmare than a children’s plaything, but it’s actually a work of art. It started as a project by California artist Sean Orlando and the Five Ton Crane Arts Group, whose other works have included a gothic rocket ship and an 11,000-pound land-based submarine that can go 13 miles per hour.
The steampunk treehouse was constructed from recycled wood, clockwork components and steel, was styled after the Victorian age of architecture and influenced by writers H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. The artists say the piece is “representative of a mutually beneficial relationship between people and nature: humans living in harmony with the planet and its natural elements.”
The 40- by 40-foot behemoth debuted in 2007 at the Burning Man event in Black Rock City, Nevada, where it became a focal point and was the site of two marriage proposals. After the event, the treehouse was homeless. Up stepped Milton-based Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, who bought it for the bargain price of $1 (shipping not included, some assembly required). It now resides at the brewery, where their many customers can admire it from the outside (only employees get to look through its telescope, operate its hand-crank phone and use its time travel dashboard).