The “Skinny House”

Posted: March 2, 2014 in Buildings, Roadside Attractions
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The “Skinny House”

For this ride I ventured across The Arlington Memorial Bridge into Virginia to search for a house which has been the source of so much contention between its builder and the neighbors that it has made the news.  The news coverage has included not only the initial dispute between the two sides, but also the creative way that the builder responded to the dispute.

In 2003, the builder purchased the narrow lot on Barton Street, and knocked down the small home that was there. He bought the land with a plan in mind to build two small bungalow-style homes in its place.  But he needed a zoning variance. Two houses down the street each got built with a variance, so he didn’t anticipate a problem. Then he met the neighbors, who were tired of seeing two houses packed in where one used to be, and who wanted to preserve the historic feel of the area.  So they fought the builder and blocked his bid to get the needed zoning variance.

In response and out of spite (much like the spite house I wrote about in a previous post), he built the tallest, largest, and most modern home he could design for the space.  Located at 711 North Barton Street in Arlington (MAP), it is only 12 feet wide, but is 2,880 square feet with four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms on four finished levels. It towers over most of the charming bungalow-style homes on the street, and its modernist exterior stands in sharp contrast to its neighbors in the Lyon Park neighborhood.  The architectural icon is currently assessed at more than a million dollars, which makes it worth more than twice as much as many of the other houses on the street.

I’d say the builder got in the last word in that argument.

SkinnyHouse2        SkinnyHouse3

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