Spite House in Montlake Seattle and 7 more Houses Built Out Of Spite

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Spite House in Montlake Seattle is a tiny pie-shaped house built out of spite!  The tiny house was originally built in 1925.  Folklore says it was built after the owners neighbor made a lousy offer on the pie-shaped property.

Another story believed is that the Montlake, Seattle house was erected after a difficult divorce settlement.  The husband got the house and the wife got the pie-shaped front yard.  The wife built the tiny house out of revenge to get back at her husband.

The yellow cottage-like tiny Spite House is 830 square feet with two bedrooms and 1.75 bathrooms.  Newly listed for $397,500 it has already Sold pending final sale.

The pie-shaped house’s unusual floor plan narrows at the kitchen and nook eating area.  It is 55 inches at the narrow south end and 15 feet wide at the north end.  The current owner says “you need to stand to the side to make enough room to open the oven door.” -Komonews

Spite House in Montlake Seattle and 7 more Houses Built Out Of Spite


A spite house is built to irritate neighbors.  They are obstructions blocking out light or access to houses or buildings.  Spite houses can be odd, strange obstacles too.  Thankfully building codes now prevent this, but some Houses of Spite from the past are still standing like this tiny Seattle house.

Montlake Spite House

Wikimedia Commons

The alley view of the narrow end of the Montlake Spite House shows the house it blocks.  

Spite House Joshua Lewis / KOMO News

Joshua Lewis Komo News

Despite its size and placement I love the architecture of this piece of pie house.

Seattle House by Joshua Lewis / KOMO News

Joshua Lewis Komo News

Step aside to open oven door.  View to backyard.

Inside the famous spite House  KOMO News

Joshua Lewis Komo News

Extra sleeping area that appears to be a loft and at the narrow end of this one-story tiny house.

living room






Eating Nook and Kitchen


Spite House eating nook area


Spite house back door


This is a famous house in Seattle and was only for sale a few weeks before it was sold.

7 More Houses Built Out of Spite!

The Old Spite House Marblehead MA

1. Taken from a Circa 1912 postcard is “The Old Spite House” in Marblehead, MA. Built in 1715, it was home to the Graves brothers, three fishermen famous for spiteing each other.  The ten-foot wide house is tall enough to block the view of two other houses.

There are two theories: One is it was inhabited by two brothers who occupied different sections, would not speak to each other, and refused to sell to the other.  The other is the builder was upset about his small share of his father’s estate and his revenge was a house built to spite his older brothers’ views.

McCobb Spite House July 1960

2.  The “McCobb Spite House in Rockport, Maine”  Thomas McCobb heir to a land and shipping business, returned from sea and found his stepbrother inherited the family mansion. Naturally upset, he built a Federal house directly across from his stepbrother designed to overshadow the mansion.  In 1925 the house was moved by barge to Deadman’s Point in Rockport, Maine.

The Tyler House in Frederick Maryland

3. The “Tyler Spite House in Frederick, Maryland.”  John Tyler was the first American ophthalmologist to do cataract surgery.  In 1814, he owned a piece of land near the courthouse square in Frederick.  The city was going to put a street right though his land.  He found a city law that prevents the building of roads on property that has building in progress on it all ready.  He hurriedly had a foundation poured on his property and the city could not put the street through.  Here sits his house at the border of the street.

Skinny House Boston, MA

4.  Skinny House in Boston, MA is a four-story “narrowest house in Boston.”  The house is 10.4 feet wide and tapers to 9.25 feet in the rear.

Again with brothers fighting!

Again about inherited land!

While one brother is away in the military, the other builds on land handed down from their deceased father.  He only leaves a small amount of land for the military brother thinking it useless.

Revenge is sweet.

In 1874, upon return from service, the military brother built this narrow house on the small lot to block his brother’s light and views.

Freeport 146 Lena Avenue house

5.  “Freeport Spite House.” In 1906, John Randall, a developer did not like how the city of Freeport was being laid out like a grid and was against it.  Overnight he built a Victorian house on a triangle piece of land at the corner of Lena Avenue and Wilson Place.   Now Lena Avenue veers to the south.  He got his house vengeance against a rival developer.

"Alameda House"in California

6.  The “Alameda Spite House” in California is yet another narrow home.  It sits on the corner of Broadway and Crist St in Alameda, CA.  Charles Froling wanted to build his dream house on his land, but the city took it to build a street back at the turn of the century.  His neighbor nor the city cared about his plight.  Revenge stands 20 feet tall by 10 feet deep by 54 feet long.

O'Reilley House in Cambridge MA

7.  “O’Reilly Spite House” in West Cambridge, MA built in 1908.  Francis O’Reilly had this parcel of land and asked his abutting land neighbor to sell the land for a gain.  Since the neighbor refused, O’Reilly built this adorable 308 square foot building that is 37 feet long by 8 feet wide.

As a child growing up I remember being told to not even step on the neighbor’s grass that bordered ours.  But why and how come was always my child reply.  When this neighbor moved to a new house, he erected a small concrete barrier between his driveway and his neighbor’s driveway that abutted each other.  Maybe it was a driveway of spite!

Have you had any built out of spite issues with your neighbors?

Sources for Homes.Yahoo, Zillow, Komonews, Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons

Don’t miss all the tiny houses on my gallery page too.

A fun house to see too is The Mushroom House

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