Closer to God
July 18, 2010 2:17 PM   Subscribe

"I was praying one day, and the Lord said, 'If you build me a treehouse, I'll see you never run out of material.'" So Horace Burgess built a treehouse.

"The Minister's Treehouse," located in Crossville, TN, has 10 floors, a chapel, basketball court, secret passages, and a penthouse suite.

It's free an open to the public, despite the "Keep Out" signs posted to ward off vandals.
posted by starman (25 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
posted by blaneyphoto at 2:24 PM on July 18, 2010

Goddamn ... it's amazing what projects meth can produce!
posted by ericb at 2:27 PM on July 18, 2010 [5 favorites]

Most of the time when I pray, the Lord tells me to sit around on my butt, surfing the internet.
posted by rhymer at 2:34 PM on July 18, 2010

I want to go to there.
posted by pyrex at 2:35 PM on July 18, 2010

This is really cute. If I'm going to lolxtians, I'd like for them to be laughing too.
posted by Phalene at 2:35 PM on July 18, 2010

That USA today reporter needs to learn the difference between diameter and circumference.
And, that white oak? It's hating it, I guarantee. The tree in the chapel-slash-basketball court is dead already. But, it's a neat-looking structure, anyway.
posted by Red Loop at 2:52 PM on July 18, 2010

posted by hellojed at 2:54 PM on July 18, 2010

At this height, he may want to incorporate a lightning rod.
posted by Tube at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2010

If that is where I think it is there is a couple who lives in that county who not only share my and my hubby's last name but our first names as well. They also have three children. And the county they live in has the same name as the county we live in, just different states. Strange but true.

posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:59 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

There are many good things about zoning and building code ordinances; the minimization of creativity in construction is not one of them. Neat.
posted by Forktine at 3:01 PM on July 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

Holy shit. That's bigger than my house. And not to expose my one-track mind, but you could never get away with building that in my county -- they'd swoop in and make you tear it down, God or no God.
posted by crunchland at 3:13 PM on July 18, 2010

I was praying one day, and the Lord said, 'If you build me a treehouse...'

This was a while ago, when the Lord was just a kid, right?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:33 PM on July 18, 2010 [8 favorites]

That's amazing. I'm very jealous.
posted by emilyd22222 at 3:50 PM on July 18, 2010

yes it is very very cool.

Maybe we lost something with our boring Building Code regulations.

But then again, what a death trap fire hazard. That thing is going to burn, burn, burn.
posted by wilful at 6:04 PM on July 18, 2010

More photos of The Ministr's Treehouse on flickr.
posted by tinlids at 6:49 PM on July 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

And the man said, "Lord, why is there only one set of footprints?"

And the Lord answered, "Oh, that's when I was playing in my treehouse."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 8:05 PM on July 18, 2010 [14 favorites]

Mirrored Treehouse Hotel Makes You Invisible in the Forest

Wow. I wonder how often they have to clean up the pile of dead birds that must accumulate around that thing.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:06 PM on July 18, 2010

Sys Rq, someone's got to clean up those carcasses. Make some calls!
posted by randomyahoo at 8:59 PM on July 18, 2010

Whoa...shades of the Winchester Mystery House...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:58 AM on July 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wow. I wonder how often they have to clean up the pile of dead birds that must accumulate around that thing.

"I never understood how a bird could fly straight into a mirror...You'd think he would at least try and avoid the OTHER bird" -Jerry Seinfeld
posted by Jonathan Harford at 6:42 AM on July 19, 2010

Wow, how did this one slip by me? Anyway, I used to live in middle Tennessee and I have visited the Treehouse several times. I have a few photos. It's a crazy structure, not evenly divided into what we would consider proper floors. I'd say overall there are about five major 'floors' but that's only a rough estimate. There are areas inside that are like tiny bedrooms, one of which had a (hopefully non-functional) wood-burning stove in it. There's a belltower at the top which houses several acetylene or oxygen tanks with the bottoms cut off that act as the bells. This belltower also houses a grand quantity of red wasps, so I don't go up there.

If you wanted to explore the entire thing, every inch, at a leisurely pace then I'd say you'd need to allocate at least two hours to doing so, if not longer. It's surreal when you're in there and you know other people are there, and you can hear them, but you can't see them or even tell where they are.

If you're crossing Tennessee via I-40 then you could do worse than pulling over in Crossville and checking this thing out. It's only about a five-minute drive from the interstate, so why not do it?
posted by komara at 6:58 AM on July 19, 2010

Thanks for the account, komara.. did it feel "creepy"? That seemed to be a reoccurring description by visitors.
posted by starman at 2:25 PM on July 19, 2010

Um, let's see. I've been there three or four times now. On none of those trips did it feel creepy, per se, but the first time certainly was overwhelming. I think first-time visitors are left in awe at the sheer magnitude of the whole thing, and depending on whether or not there are others there it can be a bit spooky, I guess, if you're not used to the place.

I think it's the same spooky as an empty warehouse, when you've never been in before. It's a new place, a big unfamiliar place. This is amplified by the fact that chances are you've never been in a multi-story treehouse before and it's easy to lose track of where you've been, where you're going, and how to get the hell back down. If your first visit was in the middle of a nice spring weekend afternoon, though, the sound of screaming kids and tons of people would keep it from being creepy, I'd think.
posted by komara at 2:47 PM on July 19, 2010

Wow, a Mefi post about my area that doesn't involve Cookeville PD shooting someone's pet corgi in the face. In other words, awesome.
posted by nola at 1:36 PM on July 20, 2010

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