The Worlds Greatest TreeHouse

Posted on 26 October 2009

Ever wonder where the world’s greatest treehouse is to be found? Ever wonder who the tenacious soul behind it is? Could you even, in a moment of fantasy, have gotten yourself to fancy the long tree house you made as a kid as being the world’s greatest treehouse?
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Well, if you did find yourself fancying your childhood treehouse as the world’s greatest, you may find yourself having to think again after getting to see the treehouse Horrace Burgess has built around Crossville in the United States state of Tennessee.

You start to appreciate the greatness of the treehouse Horrace Burgess has built when the figures are brought in. Standing at 97 feet in height, one agrees that the structure Horrace Burgess has built is the structure to beat, if you want to lay a claim to owning (or even having seen) the greatest treehouse in the world.

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The greatness of Horrace Burgess treehouse is not subject to the tree on which it is based alone though. As it turns out, while the tree in question does contribute something to the height of the treehouse, the owner’s efforts also go a long way towards this greatness possible. The tree’s contribution to the 97 foot edifice is only 80 feet, so that the other 17 feet on top of the basic 80 foot are from Horrace’s sheer effort. To be sure, we can’t begrudge the base tree of a claim to greatness too: a tree towering at 80 feet in height and with a diameter of over 12 feet is a real wonder. But it is the structure on top of the tree that is the greater attraction.

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The treehouse in question is 11 floor tall, a sky crapper even by some cities’ standards – only that this time, it is built on top of a tree. There are even some other trees grown on the floors of the edifice, of course in addition to the primary tree on which it is based. The 11 floors made from Horrace Burgess tree house create an upwards of 8,000 square feet. To put together this edifice, the guy behind it says that an upwards of a quarter million (250,000+ nails, that is) have been used.

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A building of over 11 floors would be expected to have some extra amenities – and the treehouse Horrace has established is no exception. This particular one comes complete with a mini basketball court – if you thought playing you would never live to see guys playing basketball on top of a tree!

The owner of the edifice is a 56 years old landscape architect by the way, and he say an upwards of $12,000 has gone into building the treehouse. Asked about where he got the inspiration to build the edifice, he cites a prayer vision he got in the early 90s – going further to say that he built it ‘for God.’ Nobody is arguing with him – and nobody is contesting the assertion that it is the world’s greatest treehouse either. Meanwhile, building work has not stopped at the 11th floor…the building is still a ‘work in progress!’

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72 Responses to “The Worlds Greatest TreeHouse”

  1. Mike says:

    Why is it so small? They should make it bigger.

  2. Cody says:

    I went to college studying structural engineering about an hour from this thing. I went to see it about a year ago, and it is pretty awesome. We spent about two hours going through the whole thing. As we were leaving, the builder showed up and we got to talk with him for a few minutes about it. One of the coolest things I have ever seen.

    Everyone that is degrading it for whatever reason … it’s cooler than anything most of us have ever done. Yeah it was built cause he supposedly saw a vision, ho cares, it’s still pretty awesome.

  3. Blevins says:

    I’m with Cody on this one, you really do need to see it in person.

  4. kyle says:

    seriously whats the point you might as well own your own house thats nicer, i like the thought of a small tree fort not a house, literally.

  5. Chris says:

    Ha. I was merely giving multiple perspectives on it. I wish I had the time and balls to just go out and build something like that instead of worrying about licenses/laws/etc.

    But yeah. Engineering + Law = Patent law.

  6. visit now says:

    I am happy to see this site so much. It is always nice to hear such good news as your site.

  7. Cassandra says:

    Luv the tree house heard about it this morning on the radio BigD & Bubba were talkin bout it

  8. Alli says:

    I hope they don’t have a lot of tornadoes in that area lol

  9. Matt says:

    I used to go to a tree house like this but the guy who owned it wanted me to pour my coke into a bag so he could sell the bottle

  10. Johnny says:

    Wow this is a dream come true I want to see this place in person.

  11. hanna says:

    this is a really cool tree house i wish icould go there and live there for lifeit is so toatly awesome dont you think people

  12. dude says:

    @Buka Muka: the trash is inside of your brain, you are revelaing it by what you see/comment. it seems that you are missing the trash so much that you can’t resist asking for it. you might want to do some soul searching in your mental backyard.

  13. Tom Dacre says:

    I really don’t understand how building this wooden house, mildly impressive as it might be, is meant to generate for its builder an God points at all? He saw a vision… ok cool… and then he built a wooden house… ok cool… and then he wrote Jesus’ name in some flowers… ok cool – how does that equate to anything religious at all? Seriously, I’m asking in all sincerity. I am an aetheist, that’s my standpoint, but I am Australian, so three of my mates in the surrounding suburbs are Muslim, two are Jewish, some others have held onto the tenets of our Catholic school more so than I have, all good religious people of various types… no big wooden structures. One of the main ways America is being painted internationally recently is in terms of the rising evangelical christian movements which seems to thrive on ridiculous gestures and rightwing extremism. All I’m saying is this: be a christian, that’s awesome, people are free to believe what they want – but something like this just screams of attention seeking. It’s been a while, but isn’t there a place is the Bible where Jesus scolds a man for praying aloud? Stating that he who does the good deeds in private without thought for reaction is he who is most deserving of our praise (clearly that’s not a direct quote). So yeah, sorry to ruin the ‘this is a cool house’ thing, but I saw this and couldn’t help but see a country who measures worth on Christianity and measures Christianity on how big your Jesus structure is.

  14. ignatius says:

    This is a very stupid thing. Stupid spent of wood. Stupid risk for people and, over all for the tree ( that seems to be an ancient one ). Shows a little respect for nature. How long those cuarter million of iron nails will keep this monster up?. who many people lives in ? none?

  15. people says:

    Well, that is a amazing piece of art, I wouldn’t live there, but wow…

    For people talking trash on this, please don’t, it not here for you to talk gibberish about it, that what myspace was made for.

  16. Kenster says:

    its the kids next door tree house…. for those who haven’t seen the kids show :)

  17. Samhain says:

    Okay, this is just freaking amazing.

    Who cares if it’s no longer entirely contained within a tree & touches the ground?

    Who cares if it was based on religious fanaticism?

    Who cares if it isn’t “perfect”?

    It is GINORMOUS, and most likely far more than 95% of the people who are commenting here have EVER accomplished (myself totally included there).

    Stop criticizing. Old adage, always holds true: if you can’t say anything nice, just don’t say anything at all.

    And did anyone else catch the fact the man’s a landscape architect? This means he’s had training in not only landscape design, but very likely in designing bridges, transit structures, dams, highways, reservoirs, and ecological design. He’d also be aware of basic preservation tactics, and of local zoning and permits, too.

    My inner moppet is jumping about and “squee”ing and desperately wishing to go play in it. *shrug* The outer adult is agreeing :)

  18. Discoman says:

    Want floor plans for this. quite the impressive feat. personally, I would not have the basketball court. maybe 12 stories in the main house and a 20+ story tower off the side for a great view? this is american ingenuity at its finest.

    I gotta do this myself

    hearty congrats on the house to the maker though, he has quite the house, and I most admire that he made it.

  19. roo says:

    it looks amazing its still not a tree house thouhg and whoever mentioned it was all teenage BOYS dream girls build treehouses too i know im a 12 year old girl and i have a massive one that i built all by myself whilst borroing my dads nail gun i have rooms in side it sofas beds evry thing and i have rope swings hanging down from it it on a little iland in the middle of our lake so in the summer i swing right from the top into the water and go for a swim its sooooooo fun me and my friends have amazing water fights there and to get too and from my tree house i holowed out a tree trunk and made a canoe so that guy isnt that amazing im 12 and i built a real treehouse on three quarters of his all on my own

  20. chuck says:

    Cool tree house man . ya man sweet!!!

  21. Athena says:

    …a bit drafty I’d say…but wow. Who wouldn’t want to live there at least for a bit?

  22. Don says:

    I have been to the treehouse with Horace’s family. The incredible thing about it is that he did not pay for any of the wood, all of it was donated. Yes, I know he put $12000 but none was the actual wood used to build the treehouse. Heck, he used 250,000 nails, that could easily approach $9000 right there.


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