So where does it go? I meet the artist to get the answer to this burning question.
Check out this video above.
Walking down the Atlanta BeltLine, you might stumble upon this little door near the Skatepark.
Or maybe you've seen this one embedded in a bench, in the shadow of Ponce City Market.
Called Tiny Doors ATL, these miniatures are the creation of local artist Karen Anderson Singer. At 7 inches tall, barely bigger than a hot dog, they have been featured in media outlets small and large, including O Magazine, CBS and CNN, and have sparked a worldwide movement. And they are possibly one of the most photographed pieces of art on the BeltLine. Before you even spot a door, you might see children and dogs getting their picture taken next to it.
How many tiny doors are there in Atlanta?
There are 7 of them either on or around the BeltLine's Eastside Trail, and many more throughout the city. And they're adorable.
On our Food and Art Tours, we don't pass by any of the little doors but we do stop at this one, Door No. 658. It's called that because it's 658 times the size of a Tiny Door. It's so big that it will make YOU feel tiny, Alice in Wonderland style. Our tour guests have a lot of fun with this door, creating their own Instagrammable photos.
And time and again, they ask: Does it open?
It's a question that I've heard the artist gets too.
So I was very excited to go to her open studio at Atlantic Station this past weekend, where I got to meet Karen and see all kinds of merchandise crafted from her tiny door concept: earrings, T-shirts, onesies and more. Karen also just published a children's book about her miniature doors, answering that burning question.
On the walls of her studio are previous versions of doors, ones I recognize from years past, with descriptions. The very first door is there, framed in glass. Karen originally created this door outside the Krog Street Tunnel, expecting that it would get painted over (like the rest of the tunnel does).
But instead, someone left 8 tiny plastic cats outside the door. Someone else left a tiny pumpkin. And someone created a tiny newspaper about the tiny door. (according to her interview with CBS and other stories).
Inspired by this community interaction, Karen continued to create more doors around the city, each one fitting the personality of the neighborhood. She has since been picked up by big brands like Mailchimp, Marriott and Coca-Cola. It is the story of so many of Atlanta's artists, who start out painting or creating under bridges, and build a following.
While I browse the store at Atlantic Station, Karen shows me how to enter a virtual world through the doors. Taking her phone, she points it at a photo of Door no. 13, located in Piedmont Park. It opens on her screen, revealing skyscrapers and a woman riding by on a bicycle. Just like an actual scene you might see in Piedmont Park.
View the video here.
After chatting with Karen about her beautiful doors, I decide to bring home a Christmas ornament for myself, and a magnet and keychain to give away on an upcoming tour. I am thrilled when Karen signs my ornament.
I have shared these doors with so many people on our tours. Now, it's wonderful to own one myself.
So what is behind the Tiny Doors? Here is one way to find out:
Go to the @tinydoorsatl Instagram page
Tap the starry symbol in the middle of the page
Select a filter for a door, then point your camera at it
Discover a virtual world
To locate the doors, go to tinydoorsatl.com.
And if you want to have fun with an oversized Tiny Door, come on our Food and Art Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine! We are organizing private tours by request through the winter, and will ramp up our Saturday tours in March.
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An Atlanta native, Nicole Gustin is the Founder and CEO of BiteLines, which offers walking Food and Art Tours on the Atlanta BeltLine. She considers the BeltLine her backyard, and is excited to see how Atlanta is reinventing itself. To sample some of Atlanta's best restaurants and street art, come join us on a Food and Art Tour of the Atlanta BeltLine. Follow on TikTok and Instagram @bitelinesatl.