Nestled in Crossville, Tennessee, the world’s most colossal treehouse stood as a testament to an extraordinary vision.
Horace Burgess, its creator, claimed divine inspiration for the construction of what became known as “The Minister’s Tree House”. Since 1993, a staggering 250,000 nails were meticulously placed across its ten stories, all supported by the steadfast foundation of six mighty oaks.
Spanning over 3000 square meters, the living space amalgamated across its multiple floors. Remarkably, this wooden marvel, which took 14 years to complete, supposedly incurred a mere $12,000 in costs.
What kind of person embarks on such an ambitious endeavor, you might wonder? Perhaps a lunatic, one might think. However, according to Burgess, God directed him to undertake this extraordinary project, promising an unending supply of wood.
True to his conviction, the treehouse featured a central space designed for both prayer and basketball games, along with a penthouse crowning its tenth floor. A substantial half-ton church bell further accentuated its grandeur.
Over the years, the countless planks that composed the treehouse bore witness to the marks left by intrigued tourists who flocked to witness this architectural wonder.
Despite its popularity, the treehouse faced closure in 2012 due to violations of local fire codes. Concerns mounted as the fire department feared the catastrophic consequences of a blaze in a structure entirely crafted from wood.
Regrettably, those fears materialized as the colossal treehouse succumbed to flames in less than half an hour. Standing at an impressive 97 feet in Crossville, Tennessee, the Minister’s Treehouse became engulfed in a destructive inferno.
Constructed through the 1990s with a promise that building a treehouse meant never running out of material, the structure comprised 80 rooms, including classrooms, bedrooms, and a kitchen. Supported by an 80-foot white oak tree, it featured a wraparound porch connecting the five stories with a winding stairway.
The interior, a blend of the quirky and spiritual, boasted a hand-carved Bible, towering cross, and wooden pews. The name “JESUS” was even mowed into the grass beneath the building, emphasizing its spiritual significance.
Tourism ceased in 2012 due to safety breaches, leading to its eventual closure by state fire marshals.
The demise of the Minister’s Treehouse was swift, and Captain Derek Carter of the Cumberland County Fire Department, who had visited the treehouse as a tourist in the past, described it as “very cool, but also very dangerous”.
For those who once marveled at its grandeur, the Minister’s Treehouse remains a cherished memory, even as it has now returned to the earth from which it was built.
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