Earlier this week I was heading into Georgetown to deliver a large order of custom made Obama prints I'd put together for a client, and figured I'd spend a few hours walking around and seeing if I could find the smallest, narrowest rowhouse. I purchased a rowhouse shell in Baltimore last year that I turned into a 4BR/4Bath, 2,500 sq ft rental that measures approximately 12'-6" wide on the first floor, and yet doesn't feel that cramped; I began to wonder how small they get!
Doing some googling beforehand turned up some interesting results:
A Washington Post article spotlights an '11 Foot Wide Wonder' that Marilyn Stern of Myres/Stern Architecture/Design purchased two years ago and remodeled.
11' wide... a little narrower than my 12'-6" house, but I kept looking....
This Washington Post article pointed me towards a house on 30th St. NW that was jsut shy of 11' wide, image taken from google maps' street view here... still looking for a smaller one...
While walking down P St in George town I happened upon this ugly little thing that couldn't be more than 8' or 8'-6" wide. Small, hideous, loud.... like a dirty moped screaming down your street at night. It's pictured here on google street view with a for sale sign and an original Mini Cooper out front. likely the owners. Can it get any narrower?
Back at home I found an article telling the tale of a 7' wide 'spite house' in Alexandria, VA, a 10 minute drive from my house. This house is 2 stories, 25' deep for a total square footage of 350.
Article and images from apartmenttherapy.com:
A photo of the house circa 1924:
What is a spite house?
According to wikipedia, its a structure built to annoy someone, blocking out light or access to a neighbor; flamboyant symbols of defiance. We have found the architectural equivalent of the middle finger. Love it!
They are usually built on narrow lots, what was formerly thought of as 'leftover space' or alleys, even access ways.
I'll be looking for these in every city I go to now!