Skinny House – Boston, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Skinny House

Narrowest house in Boston. 


Hidden within a city of notably small and narrow apartments, the four-story Skinny House is the skinniest of them all. Only ten feet wide and 30 feet deep, rumor has it that the Skinny House was built out of spite to block sunlight from the home positioned behind it, hence its other less friendly nickname: the Spite House.

The rumors go on to say that the house was the result of a feud that took place between two brothers around the time of the Civil War. When one of the brothers returned from the war he found that his sibling had already built a large house on land which they inherited from their deceased father. Feeling that the house was too large, and his brother unfair in distributing the land, the house-less brother angrily built the Skinny House to intentionally block sunlight to his brothers house and ruin his brother’s view.

Today, the Skinny House is privately owned as a residential home, and according to 2005 owners Jennifer Simonic and Spencer Welton “We had a party of 10 one New Year’s Eve, and when one person has to go to the bathroom, everyone has to move. Instead of doors, we have floors between each space… When guests stay over, we put a mattress down on the closet floor… Except for sleeping in the closet, they seem to like it.”

Know Before You Go

Located in Boston's North End, the Skinny House is easy to miss. When entering the front gate of the the historic Copp's Hill Burying Ground on Hull Street (an official stop on Boston's historic Freedom Trail), just turn around to see the building.

Public Transportation: North Station (Green or Orange Line)

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