Belief and faith in God has long inspired men and women to attempt the impossible.
For many, this belief shapes the path one will take in life and has the power to infuse it with meaning and purpose.
For Horace Burgess, a preacher from Crossville, Tennessee, this purpose came in the form of a treehouse.
Not unlike Noah, who was commanded by God to build an ark, Burgess said he was visited by God during prayer and told to build a treehouse in His name.
In a video produced by Jynx Productions, Burgess says:
“The Spirit of God said, ‘If you’ll build me a treehouse, I’ll never let you run out of material,’ and I agreed to without seeing any dimensions.”
Upon seeing the treehouse, it’s not hard to believe there were no plans.
But that, is exactly the secret to its charm.
The scrawling, sprawling design almost sprouts from the earth like the trees in which it envelops; it would be unsurprising to run into a camp of Lost Boys in one of the upper rooms.
The treehouse is a 30-metre high structure with over 80 rooms, a working bell tower and crow’s nest.
It is a stunning feat of independent design and construction, not to mention determination, taking Burgess two decades and $12,000 to build.
The site soon attracted visitors from around the world. One of the most impressionable features of the treehouse is its small chapel, complete with pulipt, pews and wood-carvings of religiously engaged figures.
Burgess could once be found giving impromptu sermons and reportedly oversaw something like 12 marriages.
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However, the fun was not to last.
In 2012 the site was officially closed by the local council, who claimed that the treehouse was not up to the required safety standards.
This has not stopped trespassers of course, who still slip through the fences to wander the eerily abandoned hallways of this monument-to-God.
And there is still plenty to see.
One room is filled with more of the above-mentioned wooden-carved figures, and at the top floor is the honeymoon suite – complete with a balcony and bathtub.
In its now-abandoned state, the treehouse can better take its place alongside the great religious monuments of history – it feels as though it holds more secrets than its 25 years could possibly allow.
Watch the video below, posted to Digg.com, to take a virtual tour through the treehouse.
You’ll see that it is not unlike reading a Kerouac novel – a fumbling, beautifully imperfect stroll through this humble preacher’s stream-of-consciousness.