Minnesota magician hand crafts a dream treehouse escape

PLYMOUTH, Minn. — Just beyond the front gates of Matt Dunn’s Plymouth estate, parked on an expansive stretch of lawn, is a hearse.

That’s your first clue that this is no ordinary home. But visitors are still surprised by the many marvels hidden on Dunn’s 3.6 acres. There’s a full-size chessboard made of grass and stone, an aviary for parakeets, Christmas elf houses, a stunning magic arts collection — and an antique coffin in the garage.

Beyond all of that, in a wooded patch behind his already ample 6,500-square-foot house, is Dunn’s crowning achievement to personalized living. It’s a two-story treehouse he built himself, and it’s the ultimate man cave.

Dunn, a professional magician, is 35. Along with his youthful looks, he has managed to retain the spirit of a child, someone who sees a wooded lot as a blank canvas for the dreams of his childhood.

He bought the estate three years ago, and when he saw the backyard, he said he thought, “OK, this is the perfect location for a treehouse,” then added, “because you’re talking to an adult child.”

He started googling treehouses and got sucked into a digital vortex of increasingly elaborate backyard abodes.

“By the third page, there was a treehouse with a pool,” he said. That, however, was too much even for Dunn.

Instead, he sketched up a tasteful playpen in the sky, complete with a sleeping loft and a Juliet balcony.

Palace in the sky . . . sort of

He started building it last summer, and finished his masterpiece this spring.

Since then, he has been spending a few nights a week in the deluxe, 480-square-foot treehouse. Other than plumbing, it has everything a magician needs: a stuffed zebra head, a grandfather clock from old Dayton’s Christmas Nutcracker displays, a marble-topped bar, and a deck for watching horror movies that he projects onto a screen he mounted in the…

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