Monday, August 1, 2011

The Skinniest House in the World!

So, I have somewhat-reluctantly joined the 21st Century.  I wouldn't say it happened too dramatically - no hysterical kicking and screaming; I'm far more passive-aggressive than that.  I was just dragging my feet a little - maybe even just one foot.  On a related note, remind me to schedule an appointment with my podiatrist.  How did I become a full fledged member of our modern world, you ask?  Well, it wasn't just that I got my first computer this year.  Actually, I went from this:

to this:

Do I have any idea what a "gig" is?  No.  Do I struggle to answer when the phone rings?  Yes.  If one was to ask me the difference between 3G and 4G, my answer would be, "1G."  I am an unabashed late adopter.  My pride, however, is boundless after I was able to take photographs with my phone and upload/download(?) those photos onto my computer - without help.  Sadly, the new phone/camera has done nothing for my photography skills as you will see.  The only reason I carry on about my personal technological advancement is simply because I must now familiarize myself with "apps."

Thus far in my investigation of apps, the only solid conclusion to which I have come is that as far as apps are concerned, I prefer free to paid.  The exception to that rule is the app that I found called "Roadside Attractions;" I figured this might help in my attempt to serve up a major piece of the wacky tacky pie - Roadside Americana.

The app

I decided to start relatively close to home and find out what is waiting to be discovered in my own neighborhood.  When I saw a destination called "The World's Skinniest House,"  I was at once intrigued, hopeful, skeptical and afraid.  I should have taken a picture of myself by the front door.  Can you imagine the dramatic tension of the world's not-skinniest man in front of the world's skinniest house?  Really, the world's skinniest house?  I have seen television programs about apartments in New York City that were once linen closets.  Perhaps there is a separate category for detached, single-family dwellings.  Nevertheless, I had to see it to believe it.

Peek-a-boo!  While not a tree house, it is skinny
enough to easily hide behind a tree.
I tried my best to used forced perspective
by cropping the photo tall and narrow.

 Now that I have seen it, I'm not so sure I do believe it.  According to the app, the house was built in the 1930's on a bet - details of the bet were undisclosed.  In doing internet research, the only further detail I could find was that the 10x50' plot was used as repayment on a loan; the owner was determined to build a livable space on the land when someone bet him that it was impossible.  I testify that it is possible; there are people currently living in the house - which only made the photography session slightly awkward.

 While the car is in the foreground, it does give an idea of the scale of 10-foot-wide dwelling.

Truth be told, If I was to pass by under different circumstances, my only remark would be that the house is so unremarkable that I would not have remarked.  Knowing a little of the history, I found the house to be a neat little drive-by attraction.  It is, in its own way, an example of wacky tacky in that it is the quirky, physical manifestation of a creative mind.  It is not just a landmark of one man's ingenuity, this little, neighborhood gem is a registered landmark in the city of Long Beach.  Furthermore, it has been noted by Ripley's Believe it or Not! and The Guinness Book of World Records as the skinniest house in America.  America.  I can appreciate the app's patriotism, but America does not the whole world make.  Maybe the $1.99 hasn't turned out to be my wisest expenditure of the year but I am hopeful that as I venture out a little further, this app will come in handy - I'll be sure to let you know.

Here are some links to other "skinniest houses in the world."

The "World's" Skinniest House
708 Gladys Ave.
Long Beach, CA


Mr. Tiny


  1. I also just got my first smart phone recently. It definetly makes me feel dumb. It would be interesting to see the inside of the house. My first house had a 11 by 14 bedroom which my youngest son used it was pretty narrow I can only image a ten foot house would be like.

  2. Holy shit,you first phone is waaaaay flasher than my bottom of the line 5 year old phone I'm too chicken to upgrade from!
    Unusual house!

  3. That is close to my home...I'll have to check it out. Also, when in Long Beach, say hello! :)

  4. Why don't I know this house...I'm a LB native. I'll have to check it out!