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Alexandria Virginia Extended Downtown History Walking Tour
Item 26 of 31
The Hollensbury Spite House is a seven-foot-wide blue townhome located on Queen Street in Old Town Alexandria. Built in 1830, the house was constructed by adding a roof and exterior to the two existing walls of the homes next door. The house is called a spite house because it was built simply to keep passersby from using the alleyway that the house now occupies.

Property, Window, Fixture, Door

The Hollensbury Spite House stands on Queen Street in Old Town Alexandria, and at seven-feet-wide, 325 square feet, and two stories, is one of the skinniest houses in the United States. The blue townhome was built in 1830 by John Hollensbury, who the house is named for, a bricklayer who owned the two homes adjacent to the Spite House. The alleyway between Hollensbury's two homes was continuously being used as a shortcut for horse-drawn wagons, creating damage to the outside of the house, and also attracted loud and raucous people who congregated in the alley. Sick of the damage and the noise, Hollensbury created the tiny home by adding a roof and an exterior to the brick walls of the two adjacent homes; the gouges from wagons can still be seen on the walls of the house in the living room.

Privately owned and under the ex posto facto law regarding building code, one can still visit the house from the outside and take a nice photo for social media!

Overdeep, Meghan. You Can Find America's Skinniest Home in This Charming Southern City, Southern Living . April 2nd 2018. Accessed March 25th 2021.,origins%20are%20anything%20but%20sweet..

Carter, Elliot. Hollensbury Spite House, Atlas Obscura. Accessed March 25th 2021.

Greer, Caroline . Hollensbury Spite House, Caroline Greer. August 27th 2020. Accessed March 25th 2021.