Formerly known as "Creepy-chusetts, Strange-chusetts".

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Skinny House, Boston

The Skinny House sits on Copp's Hill in North End. The house is across a very old cemetery established in 1659. This skinny structure is said to be built around 1870. It measures 10ft (3m) width, hence the name "skinny", and the narrowest of the interior is mere 6ft (180cm).

A tombstone in Copp's Hill Burying Ground 

Since the house is on the Freedom Trail and in a bustling Little Italy neighborhood, the street is filled with tourists on a summer weekend. But not so many of them seem to notice this quirky house. Is it way too thin to be noticed?

Why is the house so skinny? Good question. Was the land so scarce in this densely populated neighborhood? Maybe.

I learn new words and terms everyday. This house is oddly skinny because it's a "spite house". The spite house is a kind of structure that is built for the purpose of showing your opposition towards surrounding residents and/or certain interest parties.

A land dispute is the common cause of the action, but not limited to. In the case of the Skinny House, the origin is in a mythical level. It could be a dispute between brothers or neighbors; no one knows for sure.

Locate Skinny House @ Google Map 

Here's the interior of the house:


  1. I've never heard of the skinny house. Fascinating! Years ago I rented a house in Newton that my landlord (or his father) had nicknamed La Casita Flatita, which I believe translated roughly to The Tall Skinny House. But it was nowhere near as thin as this one. Cool find!

  2. That makes me wander...You don't tell me it was a spite house!