John Hollensbury was fed up with putting up with the noise of annoying pedestrians making their way in the alleyway by his home. Pedestrians weren't the only nuisance on Queen Street. The incessant traffic noise from horse-drawn wagons and carriages and the deep marks on the walls of the alley by his house were truly testing his patience. Hollensbury is no longer alive today, he had actually put up with this issue over 200 years ago. The problem tested his patience back in 1830, when he decided to do something about it.
Library of Congress
He took matters into his own hands, which ended up putting Queen Street on the map.
Hollensbury put two parallel walls and a roof in the alleyway and transformed the path into a small addition to his home. It's not clear whether this was legal, but maybe the fact that Hollensbury was a member of the city council helped him.
National Photo Company / Public Domain
Today, the tiny house that Hollensbury built is still there and it's been dubbed as the narrowest house in America.
The single two-story bright blue house sits on this iconic street and it's about 7 feet wide, and around 25 feet deep. The narrow house covers a 325 square foot area, and was purchased for $135,000, in the 90s by Jack Sammis, who had been eyeing the house for a while.
In an interview with The New York Times, Jack talked about feeling somewhat connected to this tiny historical house.
“I used to walk by it every day when I worked near here and when it was listed in the paper, I knew right away what house it was. I bought it the first day it was shown,” he recalled.
The house was pretty much intact, but it needed a few repairs, so Jack hired Matt Hannan to help him restore its 19th century vibes.
This humble abode wasn't just full of history itself, but the house also features some beautiful exteriors. Jack made a few alterations to the original design and built an impressive tiny patio outside, where he even held his wedding after-party in 2007.