Imagine cramming a little paperback between two encyclopedias. That’s the aesthetic of Boston’s “Skinny House.” It’s ten feet wide and 30 feet long. Meaning if you and another person lay down on the pavement, together you’re wider than this home. It may not be the dream house anyone has imagined, but everyone is beyond curious what it looks like on the inside. In fact, when the house was for sale back in 2017, crowds came trying to get a peek inside. And now that it’s back on the market, people are once again curious about the skinniest home in Boston.
The House Built Out of Spite
When it was last on the market for $895,000, it sold for $900,000. Now it’s for sale again, but this time for $1.2 million. Despite the increase in price, the people are as curious as ever. In fact, the listing agent, Carmela Laurella of CL Properties, explained that she can’t keep with the interest.
“The special part about this home obviously is its history back in Boston,” said Travis Fachs, Laurella’s partner. “Every tourist that comes to town and does the Freedom Trail wants to be in front of this house and take a picture. It’s a single-family home, which are rare. There’s no condo fee with it, you make your own maintenance costs, and you’re not handcuffed to condo association fees and regulations. If you wanted to rent it out one month, you can do that… This house pretty much has everything, even though it’s 1,165 square feet. It has decks, unobstructed views of the city and harbor, and it has outdoor space.” 
The skinniest home is also known as a “spite house.” The alleged story behind it involves a man returning home from the Civil War in 1890. He found his brother had built a massive house on the land they had both inherited from their father. He was enraged that his brother took advantage of his absence to take over the inheritance. So, in retribution, he built his own house squeezed between two properties with the intention to block sunlight and scenic views. And the skinniest house remained ever since.
Inside the Skinniest Home in Boston
Today, the house contains 1,156 square feet stretched between four floors. And yes, there are also the scenic views the brother stole from his backstabbing sibling. You can see Copp’s Hill by the kitchen and the private roof displays views from Boston Harbor and North End. Plus, the size doesn’t get in the way of functionality. There’s a full-sized kitchen with stone countertops, cabinets, and appliances, and a living and dining room, all on the first floor.
On the second floor, there’s a sitting area, laundry room, and a bathroom with a tub and a shower. The two top levels are dedicated to the bedrooms. The third level contains the guest room with a living area and a deep closet. The top floor is the main bedroom with access to the roof deck. And that’s not the only outdoor area available. There’s also a private garden in the back. 
While the skinniest home looks odd from the outside, the interior feels bigger with its aesthetically-pleasing brick accents, hardwood floors, and custom lighting. “The place just lives much larger than the square footage states,” Laurella said. “It just feels like such a really comfortable home. It really lives larger. It’s all the windows and gardens and views.”
As of now, the current owner lives in the house, renting it occasionally. However, she’s moving out of the area. During the four years of living there, she has upgraded the air conditioning and heating system, as well as improving the garden and adding lighting. “Last night she told me when she saw (the listing) go up, she got sad,” Laurella said. “Then she said ‘I had the best feeling being there. It’s always so comfortable.’”
Other Skinny Houses
What’s even crazier, this isn’t the skinniest home in the world! In London, there’s a property that is just six feet wide in some areas. It used to be a hat shop but was later converted into a home by fashion photographer Juergen Teller. He dubbed the property “the ultimate designer house”. It includes 1,034 square feet with three bedrooms, one bathroom, a roof deck, and a backyard garden. 
Even crazier, there’s a home in Illinois that has areas that’s only three feet wide. It’s called the Pie House and it has over 1,600 square feet, including two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and a finished basement. The property was built on a triangular lot — which gave it its name — making some areas as wide as 20 feet and some as narrow as three feet. 
- “Boston’s Famed Skinny House Is Back on the Market.” Boston Magazine. Erin Kayata. August 8, 2021
- Listing for “44 Hull st, Boston.” Zillow.
- “See inside the ‘thinnest house’ in London that’s only 6 feet wide in some parts.” Today. Rheana Murray. September 17, 2020
- “This perplexing ‘skinny house’ is going viral for its weirdly thin shape.” Today. Chrissy Callahan. August 12, 2020