Size Is Relative

Narrow House
A few weeks ago, I saw an article on Curbly (a home design website) about what may be the narrowest house in New York City.

The property at 75 1/2 Bedford Street in the West Village of NYC, is famous for once being the home to Edna St. Vincent Millay, Margret Mead, Cary Grant and John Barrymore. Also known as the Millay House, it may also be the skinniest in the city. Built in 1850, the property is a scant 9 feet wide.

I’ve kept the story open in a tab for a few weeks, meaning to blog about it, because I found it kind of amusing. I’m pretty sure that when we were looking for houses here in Utrecht, we may have seen something very similar in size. Essentially each floor was its own room. Kitchen on one floor, living room on another, bedroom up top, and I think the one bathroom was also on the top floor. No fun if you’re on the ground floor and need to go!

Since then, I’ve noticed many narrow houses and buildings around town, which isn’t surprising considering the Dutch habit of building up, rather than out, in order to fit in as many building as possible, at least in the city centers. It’s the same reason that houses were built tightly in New York, as well.

The photo above is of yet another narrow house that I came across today in my wanderings. I thought it was a particularly cozy-looking narrow house and is probably little more than half as wide as its skinny New York counterpart.

Besides coming across that house today, my other impetus for finally getting around to blogging about the narrow houses was yet another Curbly post, this time about what may turn out to be the narrowest house in the world. It hasn’t been built yet, but there are plans for a house in Poland that will be about four feet wide. Still, until it’s built, I think we might have the narrowest address (although I’m still not sure if it’s technically a house, or just an addition to the building next to it, but with its own house number). Regardless, this has got to be one of the skinniest!
Small Living
(Yes, I’ve written about this house before.)

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4 thoughts on “Size Is Relative

  1. We live in a townhouse with a front portion that’s almost as narrow as that house in the first pic (it widens out at the back, thank god.). We’ve managed to put that space to good use and it does not feel cramped at all. The right furniture and large windows help. 🙂

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