The Skinniest House in America – Long Beach, California - Atlas Obscura

The Skinniest House in America

The 10-foot-wide Long Beach home was built on a dare.  

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San Francisco might be known for its narrow rows of tight-knit homes, but the city’s neighbors to the south actually have the record for the skinniest house—not only in California, but in the entire U.S.

One of the skinniest houses in America is located in Long Beach (at 708 Gladys Avenue to be exact), and is all of 860-square-feet, and just 10 feet wide. It’s a slender, three-story, Tudor-style house with two bedrooms, one bath, and a deck on the third floor. It was also built on a dare.

The Rose Park neighborhood home was constructed back in 1932 by a man named Newton P. Rummonds. He’d acquired the land as a payment for a $100 loan a year earlier, and someone bet him that he couldn’t build a livable house on the 10-by-50-foot lot. The skinny, stuccoed house soon followed.

Today, the building is a registered city landmark and is recognized as America’s skinniest house by the Guinness Book of World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, just barely beating out the narrowest homes on the East Coast: the skinny house in Boston and skinny house in New York state. Aside from being a tourist destination and point of local pride, the house also once housed a business: public interest lawyer William John Cox worked out of the house from 1977 and 1981.

In 2001, then-owner Laurie Atherton, who shared the Skinny House with her cats, told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s very livable. It’s not just a novelty.” She sold the home the following year.

Know Before You Go

The Skinny House is located on the east side of Gladys Avenue, immediately north of 7th street in the Rose Park neighborhood of Long Beach.

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