Boston: Freedom Trail Recap & Skinny House

And so we've come to the end of the Freedom Trail.  This set of 16 sites has helped define one of the most significant cities to our nation's history.  But we are not finished with the town itself, because as time has passed Boston has continued to reinvent itself into the city of today.

As we move into the next several weeks, we're going to look at many of these additional sites that make Boston what it is today, as well as dig more deeply into the physical changes of the city itself.  Just for fun this week, I thought it might be enjoyable to spend a minute looking at a small-but-interesting location that has become iconic for citizens.  The Skinny House, located in Boston's North End across the street from Copp's Burying Ground, is a famous spite house - one built not for function, but for anger or revenge.  

Measuring roughly 10 feet wide and 30 feet long, this four-story home constructed in 1884 sits on a mere 0.03 acres.  The common rumor is that a man left land to his two sons, and that one of them built a large house on it (while his brother was away fighting in the Civil War) in an effort to keep all of the property for himself.  To get even after his return from military service, the shortchanged brother built the Skinny House on what was left of the land, not only claiming some of the land for himself but also blocking his brother's sunlight and view of the harbor.  Whether or not that's the true story, the house remains to this day while all the others surrounding it have been removed.  Nestled among several taller (and wider) residential buildings, it garners attention from locals and visitors alike, and just a few years ago hit the real estate market to a fair amount of buzz.  Even the local paper took notice and published this article about the home and the popularity of an open house that was offered:


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