Tour The World’s Largest Treehouse

NARRATOR: This has to
be the most epic tree house I have ever seen. Four stories high,
surreal real architecture, and this amazing tree swing. There’s even a tree growing
out of the third floor, and what looks like a
penthouse suite on top. I have to know where this is. It was curiosity that drew
this guy to the tree house. CHUCK SUTHERLAND: Hi, my
name is Chuck Sutherland. I’m a geographer
and a photographer. The minister’s tree house
is in Crossville, Tennessee and is arguably the
world’s largest tree house. It’s 97 feet tall
and is supported by six different trees. The tree house is well known
to those who lived in the area, and I’d been hearing
about it for some time, so I decided to
see it first hand. NARRATOR: The tree that’s
poking out the third floor is actually the main
support for the structure– an 80 foot tall white oak tree
with a 12 foot diameter base. CHUCK SUTHERLAND:
My first impression upon looking at the massive
facade of this tree house was simply awe. It was obvious this took a
lot of labor and a lot of time to make. NARRATOR: The tree
house was named after the man who decided to
build it– minister Horace Burgess. According to Horace, the
idea for the tree house came team in a vision while
he was deep in prayer– a bit like Noah and his ark. It set him on a 14 year path
to build the largest tree house in the world. But unfortunately the
minister was no architect. CHUCK SUTHERLAND: It
was also haphazard. There was no real plan
to the construction. Admittedly though, that’s
what made it more fun. Doors wouldn’t lead where
you thought they would. Ladders and stairs were
in unexpected places. There’s a basketball goal in
the central room, which also doubled as a church on Sundays. NARRATOR: All in all, the
tree house has over 80 rooms, and that structure on
the top is actually a bell tower equipped with
repurposed oxygen tanks, which serve as bells that chime daily. It’s quirky touches like this
and its random architecture that made Minister’s tree house
such a popular destination. Sadly, it’s also what led
to its demise in 2012. CHUCK SUTHERLAND: It was
absolutely a fire hazard and it was absolutely dangerous
those are the things that made it fun and attracted people. It was the tree house’s
haphazard construction that ultimately led
to it being close by the state of
Tennessee’s fire marshal. NARRATOR: To this day, the
tree house remains closed. But over 2000 people
have signed a petition to have Minister Burgess’s
labor of love reopened. But without the
funds to fix it, it’s possible no one
will ever be allowed to set foot inside this
forest mansion again. Hey everyone, if you’d like
to be featured on our show, send us a link to your
photography website below in the comments. If you don’t have a site
and are looking to make one, get a domain name at It’s affordable,
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web hosting, and email by using the code, HAPPENED
when you check out. Want to see more unique living
spaces around the world? Check out this Seeker Stories
episode on treehouse mansions, or this one on a tiny house
built by a single mom. And don’t forget to subscribe. Thanks for watching.

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