Historical Sites & Museums

Hollensbury Spite House

523 Queen Street in Old Town Alexandria, VA

Among rows and rows and streets and streets of townhouses stands a little blue sliver that attracts photo ops and glances from tourists. Seven feet wide, the Hollensbury Spite House is not the only so-called spite house in Alexandria but is the narrowest house in the United States.

Built in 1830 by John Hollensbury, who owned the two attached homes, the house was constructed simply to keep people out, including loud loiterers and those driving wagons taking a dangerous shortcut that ended up leaving damage to the outside of Hollensbury’s home. Hollensbury, a brickmaker by trade, built the home by adding a roof and using the outside of the two attached homes as the wall of the tiny home, walls that still show damage from horse-drawn wagons from the nineteenth century.

Privately owned and under the ex posto facto law regarding building code, one can still visit the house from the outside and take a nice photo for social media!


Southern Living Magazine

Atlas Obscura

Photos author’s own.

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