A Look at a Play Fort off a Back Alley on Capitol Hill
Featuring the backyard Capitol Hill tree house that Hill residents generally only see if they make a point of going back to find it, with the most recent pictures first. You can find more tree house pictures under Dress-Up Gatherings. Scroll down to see pictures.
*JULY 4th NEIGHBORHOOD OPEN HOUSES: 2016, 2017 & 2018: Intense heat and humidity haven't kept scores of neighborhood families from stopping by to explore the tree house, and chill in the alley, on the 4th of July. The families mostly come off the Hill Community Parade on 8th Street, stopping by the alley for cake and lemonade. Kids enjoy shooting nerf arrows on the south arm of Archibald Walk, which makes for an ideal archery range.
*POST-THANKSGIVING COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE - NOVEMBER 2017: The Sunday after Thanksgiving brought more than 60 Hill folk to the alley for hot cider, pie and a chance for kids to romp in the tree house and alley. The event was graced by sunshine and a convivial atmosphere. Parent-child fencing (with foam swords) proved the most popular activity.
*VISIT BY MR. TONY'S CAPITOL HILL ADVENTURE CAMP - AUGUST 2017: Visiting campers had a great time making pine cone bird feeders, exploring the tree house, fencing and honing archery skills (with nerf swords and arrows) in the alley. The castle was well defended by the Knights of Tony. It was a joyful morning to remember.
*NEIGHBOR'S HARASSMENT CAMPAIGN - LATE 2016: Pictures of 4" x 4" bright red, homemade "Trump Says Tree House You're Fired" stickers. A neighbor plastered more than 400 of these stickers on parking and stop signs within a couple blocks of the fort in late 2016. The stickering campaign was waged to pressure the family to tear the tree house down after DDOT did not pursue enforcement action in 2016. The neighbor made a giant vinyl banner of a Hill Rag article criticizing the family and hung it on an alley wall for months. The DCMP at the First Disrict Substation helped the family end the harrassment.
*FACADE RENOVATION: A NEW FRONT DOOR - MAY 2016: Before and after shots of the 1888 "Charles Gessford row house" facade removation work the family did in the summer of 2016. The original windows and doors of the house were bricked up in the 1950s. The Psychas-Yees are working with Verizon and the Historic Preservation Office to get the telephone pole seen in the picture relocated. The pole was installed in the early 1970s.
*GIFTED PRUNING - FEBRUARY 2016: NovaArborist, a tree care and tree house building company in NW, pruning the Psychas-Yee's elm gratis in February 2016. A team of arborists carefully pruned the century-old elm, cutting out a great many dead and decaying branches. The old tree has thrived since the pruning.
*HOLIDAY CARD SHOTS - NOVEMBER 2015: Hill photographer Julie Woodford took these lovely early tree house pictures.
*A LINE IN THE MULCH - NOVEMBER 2015: The green painted line, spray painted by a DDOT public space inspector in November 2015, demarcating the Psychas-Yee's rear/northern land boundary in SE. The tree house overhang fills the area nine feet over less than two feet of mulch between the tree trunk and the line. DC law stipulates that if the trunk of a tree is on the land of a real property owner, the tree belongs to that owner, even if branches extend over other lots.