The enormous treehouse has 10 floors averaging from 9 to 11 feet high, and although Burgess has never measured it, he estimates the treehouse to be between 8,000 to 10,000 square feet. Built entirely from wood that has been donated or salvaged from from sheds, barns and garages, the structure has taken on it’s own organic feel. Burgess, who is a landscape architect and an ordained minister, has put about $12,000 of his own money into it, spent partially on nails, of which there are approximately 258,000. Other recycled materials like license plates, furniture, roofing material, and plexiglass skylights have also helped fill out the structure.
Inside there are spiral staircases, a sanctuary, a choir loft, a basketball court, and countless rooms, walkways and balconies. For his 11th wedding anniversary, Burgess built his wife a belfry tower, or what he likes to call “the only penthouse in Cumberland County.” Inside the tower are chimes handmade from 10 oxygen acetylene bottles weighing 5,700 pounds. Outside is a garden that Burgess has designed with daffodils, irises, narcissus, gladiolas and wild daisies, which spells out J-E-S-U-S. As Burgess says, “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.” He’s still building, though.