Located high atop Missionary Ridge overlooking Chattanooga, the Swinger’s Tiki Palace began as a dream home idea of prominent strip club owner, Billy Hull. After two years of planning, architect Ed Ball set out building the most unusual house in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Anticipation grew as the house took 14 months to complete. Finally in 1972, close to 10,000 people attended the open house.
The 5,600 square foot 3 bedroom 4.5 bath home was featured in a builder’s magazine for its unique Playboy bunny shaped pool. The pool had swim tunnels leading to separate bedrooms. The bedrooms were modest in size compared to the large indoor living room/pool area.
In 1973, a friend of Billy Hull shot and killed his wife’s boyfriend outside of a nightclub. A victim of his own lifestyle, the evidence was overwhelming. Mr. Hull was found guilty of murder for hire. Another unsuccessful murder for hire plot was brought forth by the gunman during trial, implicating Billy Hull on a second murder charge.
The hired gunman was found guilty of manslaughter. Mr. Hull was found guilty of murder and received 20 years in prison. He fought the conviction to the Tennessee Supreme Court which affirmed it 4 years later.
Two years later, a defense witness in the case was found dead in the trunk of a car. A friend of the Billy Hull was found guilty of the murder.
The Playboy pool was the focal point of the home and the first thing you would see as you entered the front door. Covered in chandeliers, the massive 12 feet deep, 20 x 40 foot pool was electrically heated, The pool room had its own separate humidity controls. A faux rock waterfall and diving board sit on the far side of the pool and on your right is a fireplace with a full bar. Large tinted glass walls separated the bedrooms from the pool room over the swim tunnels.
Live palm trees were planted around the pool area. The walls were covered in tiki style bamboo, palm matting and animal heads from around the world. Each bedroom also had closed-circuit tv monitors with feeds from the pool room as well as an intercom system. The hallways and bathrooms were covered floor to ceiling in marble. The living room in the back of the house had another full marble bar and mirrored walls leading out to the patio area. The patio area featured a 12 person jacuzzi tub, copper top outdoor bar as well as a large sauna.
The 1980s were no easier on Billy Hull. Charges of tax evasion of his night clubs while being incarcerated led him to going broke.
It is rumored several families moved in and out of the home throughout the years before it was vacated. Recently, vandals broke in the home destroying everything in sight. The home fell into foreclosure becoming seized by the city for back taxes. The Swinger’s Tiki Palace has been condemned and was later demolished on September 7, 2017.