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The Spite House

June 30, 2011

A spite house is a building erected to, well, spite someone. Below is a picture of a famous spite house here in NYC. It stood on the corner of 82nd and Lexington for 33 years, being torn down in 1915. It was 4 stories tall and 5 feet wide.

Joseph Richardson owned that tiny sliver of land. The owner of the adjoining lot wanted to build some buildings that border on Lexington Avenue. When he made what Richardson considered a low ball offer he countered with with his own number. The owner of the larger lot refused and went ahead and built his building, with windows looking onto Lexington. Richardson saw the building and was enraged and decided to put up his own building declaring to his daughter:

Everybody is not fat and there will be room enough for people who are not circus or museum folk.

and so it was. I believe he had furniture special made for it.

I may have more to say about this, but I got to run.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Fat Al permalink*
    July 1, 2011 12:26 am

    Spite is awesome.

  2. July 1, 2011 10:59 am

    “Everybody is not fat and there will be room enough for people who are not circus or museum folk.”

    Great quote!

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