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After standing almost 30 years, iconic treehouse in St. Louis Park is coming down

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An iconic 7-story treehouse in the back yard of a home in St. Louis Park is being taken down after standing for almost 30 years.

Homeowner Mark Tucker decided it was too much to keep the massive structure he built with his own his hands up to code, and so has been instructed by city officials to take it down by the end of the year, the Star Tribune reports.

FOX 9 reports has been a popular landmark for three decades, with people coming from across the state to take a look at the building, which has seven levels of rooms and balconies wrapped around a large maple tree.

But for everyone who appreciated the "architectural marvel" to the rear of Tucker's home on Minnetonka Boulevard, there have been others who were less than happy with the interest (and subsequent traffic) it generated, the TV station notes.

The structure was a source of much controversy when Tucker put his job as an insurance salesman on hold to build the treehouse as a way of making good on a long-made promise to his teenage son, with whom he had fallen out.

The New York Times reported back in 1987 on the issues it caused, prompting a legal battle with city building inspectors who said the treehouse violated zoning codes was a danger to local neighborhood children. But it was a battle that Tucker won in 1988 as a judge agreed he could keep building it provided he complied with safety regulations.

The spotlight it created had an unintended effect for Tucker, when building code violations were discovered at several of the rental properties he managed in Minneapolis, which eventually landed him with a 10-day sentence in a workhouse.

Now 65 and with his children grown up, the Star Tribune reports Tucker felt it too much work to keep the treehouse in a satisfactory condition.

"I decided it was time to get realistic and begin the process of removing it," he told the newspaper.

FOX 9 reports that only two levels of the treehouse remain, and that Tucker hopes to finish the rest before the cold weather arrives.

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