CROSSVILLE, TN – Ten stories high and 10,000 square feet!
It looks downright dangerous … yet its creator claims it is divinely inspired by a vision he received in which he was told to begin building a tree house for which he would never run out of materials. 15 years, 10,000 square feet and 250,000 nails and a lot of scrap wood later, this amazing structure towers up over the very trees that support it.
The world’s tallest treehouse makes the Swiss Family Robinsons look like a bunch of amateurs – but that might be because it was commissioned by God.
The 1960 Disney film about a family shipwrecked on an island, features an impressive treehouse complete with its own water mill. But the Robinson’s home pales in significance next to this structure, which took builder Horace Burgess 11 years to build.
Known as the Minister’s Treehouse (out of deference to creator Horace Burgess, de facto pastor of the forest). Strange features of this phenomenal structure include: a third-floor basketball-court-and-sanctuary combination, a half-ton chime at the very top of the building on top of a penthouse suite Burgess built for his wife as an anniversary present.
The structure itself seems to fluctuate between highly organized, regular and planned to completely haphazard, chaotic and unstable. Perhaps as weird and wonderful as anything else this unique building has to offer: essentially the entire tree house is open to the public, provided they obey simple no-smoking rules and respect the structure of course.
Horace, who lives in the 10 story wooden house, said he begun the build in 1993 after he received a vision from God, who said he would never run out of materials if he built it.
The enormous treehouse is a whopping 10,000 square feet but only cost Horace a reasonable $12,000 thanks to his thrifty use of recycled materials.
Inside there are spiral staircases, a sanctuary, a choir loft, a basketball court, and countless rooms, walkways and balconies.
These photos were taken by photographer Tom Whetton, 63, on March 15, this year.
He said: ‘The treehouse is incredibly impressive.
‘You can’t really appreciate the scale until you are standing next to it but it is absolutely huge.
‘I was told that the whole thing is supported by just six trees and that Horace used 258,000 nails to put everything together.
‘This house is every kids dream. Even I wanted to go inside and explore.’