Montlake Spite House, Seattle
Measuring just 55 inches across at its narrowest point, this house was reputedly built to cut off a larger home from the street. According to local legend, a neighbor approached the owner of the land to buy the plot in 1925, but at an insultingly low price, spurning the owner to build the Montlake Spite house in retaliation. Another story states that the house was built when the wife of the owner was given the tiny lot in a divorce settlement, while her ex got the rest of the property. This house recently sold for $400,000.
Hollensbury Spite House, Alexandria, Virginia
John Hollensbury, the owner of the red and white houses above, was sick of people hanging out in the alley between the two houses. So he built the Hollensbury Spite House, a 7-foot-wide, 25-foot-deep dwelling. The houses two main walls are the brick walls of the adjacent buildings, making it more of an enclosed alleyway than an actually house, but it has been used as a residence ever since it was built.
The Skinny House of Boston, Massachusetts
Boston’s narrowest house measures just 10.5 feet across at its widest point, with the small portions being just 6.5 feet wide. This four-level house was built after the Civil War when two brothers inherited land from their father. The legend claims that while one brother was away at war, the other built a large home, leaving his sibling with little more than an alleyway. So when the soldier returned, he built the narrow house to ruin his brother’s view and to cut off air and sunlight to the property.
The Alameda Spite House, California
Charles Froling dreamed of building his dream home on a plot of land that he inherited, but the city took a large percentage of the land away so that it could build a street. In order to spite the city and an unsympathetic neighbor, he build a narrow house butting right up against the street and another residence, taking up the entirety of the 10-foot-wide, 54-foot-long plot of land left to him.
Nevada Spite House, Virginia City
It takes a lot of spite to live on top of someone you hate. When one miner in Virginia City built a small house with his earnings, his nemesis saw a perfect opportunity to really get to him. So he bought the property next door, and relocated his previously-built red house just inches away.
Tyler Spite House, Frederick, Maryland
Located in the historic district of Frederick, Maryland, this house was built by Sam Tyler in 1813. The story goes that a planned road would have disrupted the peaceful nature of the neighborhood, so Tyler, who owns the house next door, built the smaller one to block the road. It was a bed and breakfast for many years, but it’s now used as offices for a marketing firm.
Freeport Spite House, New York
A developer who disagreed with the City’s plans to lay the city of Freeport in a grid in the 19th century quickly built a Victorian house on a triangular plot of land, forcing this section of the city to be redesigned.
Richardson Spite House, New York
In 1880s New York, a landowner with the surname Richardson refused a developer’s offer to buy up a strip of land adjacent to the buildings they already owned. Therefore, the developers decided to build their apartments facing the strip of land owned by Richardson, figuring they could enjoy the view without worrying about anything else being built in the narrow 5-foot wide gap. They were wrong – Richardson decided to build a 104-foot-long, 5-foot-deep building that completely blocked the views. Sadly, this spiteful structure was demolished in 1915.