A truly exceptional Atlanta playground has lost one of its defining features. For now.
Chastain Park’s centerpiece playground treehouse was destroyed by fire Saturday night in an incident described by park leaders as “devastating.”
A neighbor reportedly called 911 around 9:30 p.m. to report the blaze on the north side of the 286-acre greenspace. No injuries were reported, and investigators are still working to find the cause. Quick-acting firefighters were credited with keeping the blaze from causing significant damages elsewhere.
Described by nonprofit Chastain Park Conservancy as “iconic,” the treehouse was one highlight of a $2.8-million playland that debuted in 2016 across six woodsy acres off West Wieuca Road.
Within hours of the ADA-accessible play structure being torched, the conservancy was vowing to rebuild it, launching a GoFundMe page for donations, and thanking the community for an outpouring of support.
“We will rebuild,” the conservancy’s past vice chair, Jay Smith, wrote in a statement. “We’ll use this as an opportunity to teach our children resilience. And that is something with a lifetime of permanence."
When the playground debuted six years ago, project leaders called it unlike any other in Atlanta. The builders had consulted children for input on the design, which beyond the treehouse included two side-by-side rolling slides built for racing, a climbing wall, a music station, an array of boulders, and other components. The playground upgrade had been four years in the making, the conservancy said at the time.
As of this morning, fundraising efforts for a new Chastain Park treehouse had reached $6,300 toward a $200,000 goal.
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