Breezing through the North end of Boston, Massachusetts, you can’t help but notice the array of magnificent properties. Located at 44 Hull Street is a building that stands out amongst these properties with an unbelievable narrow structure. Having the “uncontested feature of being the thinnest house in Boston” according to Boston Globe, the Skinny House is about 10 feet wide and tapers to almost 9 feet. The four-story house possesses only five doors with the second floor holding the living room and bathroom. Interiorly, the narrowest point is about 6 feet, close enough for you to touch both walls at a time. Aside from its little size, the Skinny House doesn’t have an entrance; guests pass through a narrow alley and enter through a side door resembling a window.
The 1,166-square-foot home was sold in May to an anonymous buyer for $900,000. The new owner now lives in a piece of Boston history; however, this piece of history is congested and only provides room for few visitors.
The Skinny House is believed to have been built around 1874, and a lot of mysteries cloud its origin. One story says that an unnamed builder built the Skinny House to shut off air and light from a hostile neighbor with whom he had a dispute with. And really, looking at the row house structure and dense population of Northern Boston, we can deduce the possibility of few neighborly altercations happening.
A more popular story exists which says it was built as a result of a feud between two brothers around the Civil War time. According to the story, a Civil War soldier returned to see that his brother had built a large home on their deceased father’s land. The soldier then builds the Skinny house on the remaining portion of land to block the view of his brother’s house. This legend described previously nurtured the nickname “Spite House,” implying that it was built to spite a family member or neighbor.
By virtue of its closeness to the Freedom Trail, Skinny House is falsely believed by tourists to be home to some famous revolutionary hero.
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