Tuesday, July 5, 2011

World's largest treehouse(s)

I read an article last night about the Guiness Book of World Records possibly naming a treehouse in Tennessee, U.S., as the world's largest. Thinking it blogworthy, I went in search of some good photos. That's when I learned that a treehouse in Alnwick, U.K., also bills itself as the world's largest. Rather than quibble, I offer them both.

The Minister's Treehouse
(1st, 2nd, and 3rd images)
Location: Crossville, Cumberland County, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Cost: $12,000
Construction details: Built on an 80' white oak that is 12' wide at its base, the treehouse is now supported by 6 trees. The 10-story structure is 97' tall, with 8,000 sq. ft. of space that includes a sanctuary that doubles as a basketball court when the pews are moved to the side, a spiral staircase, a choir loft and balcony, a penthouse, a skylight, and a bell tower. The treehouse took 258,000 nails and several tons of reclaimed lumber from garages, storage sheds, and barns to build.
Description: Self-taught carpenter Horace Burgess, 56, began the project after a revelations in 1993. "I was praying one day, and the Lord said, 'If you build me a treehouse, I'll see you never run out of material,'" describes Burgess, whose vision unfolded like a slideshow in the space of 4 minutes. He holds an informal church service each Sunday afternoon. He does not charge admission to the 400-500 visitors who pass through each week. From the upper floors, they look down on a garden with daffodils, irises, narcissus, gladiolas and wild daisies to spell out the letters J-E-S-U-S. "The whole message of the thing is if you come to see the site and climb to the top, you'll see Jesus in the garden, and the preacher didn't have to say a word," Burgess says, smiling broadly.
Sources and additional photos:
AtlasObscura.com, Damncoolpictures.com, Funenclave.com, Inhabitat.com, Time.com, USAToday.com,

The Treehouse at Alnwick Garden
(4th, 5th, and 6th images)

Location: Alnwick, Northumberland County, UK.
Cost: $7 million
Construction details: This 56' tall, 6,000 sq. ft. treehouse was built from sustainable resources, including Canadian cedar, Scandinavian redwood, and English and Scots pine,
It was designed by architects and encompasses a 120-seat restaurant that serves local produce, a fireplace, a retail shop, classrooms, play areas, an expansive deck area, and several outbuildings, all built off the ground and connected by walkways and suspension bridges. The structure stretches the definition of a treehouse because it is held up by concrete braces and wooden supports. It is wheelchair accessible and holds close to 1,000 people.
Description: The treehouse was opened to the public in early 2005 at the non-profit Alnwick Garden. It is open year-round. The promotional copy reads, "At the heart of The Treehouse is one of the most beautiful and unique restaurants to be found anywhere in the world. There’s a roaring log fire in the centre of the room, trees growing through the floor, handcrafted furniture and screens created from fallen branches. Most importantly, the locally-inspired food is delicious. At the top of The Treehouse is the Nest, a hideaway for private dining and small parties, and out on the deck there’s The Treehouse bar, serving drinks into the evening."
Sources and additional photos:
AlnwickGarden.com, Curious-Places.blogspot.com, Forbes.com, Groovygreen.com, Saynotocrack.com, Thetreehouseguide.com, VisitNortheastEngland.com.

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