By Ashleigh / May 12, 2022
A Glaring Truth
He decided to renovate the house, dipping into his savings and salary to see his dream turn into reality.
Everybody laughed at him, from his family and friends to agents who could’ve helped him instead. But as the house neared completion, he realized one glaring truth.
A House From The Past
When Liam Presley’s grandpa passed, the only thing he left in his name was a derelict house in Charlestown, Boston.
The house was like nothing he’d ever seen in person. The first time he lay eyes on it, he choked back a cry, not because it was the beauty of a house, but because he felt betrayed by his beloved grandpa.
A Young Man
Thirty-year-old Liam was the youngest of the Warren family in Boston, an influential family that had its roots in the country’s liberation more than four hundred years past.
For Liam, being a Warren had always seemed like a burden. His life was constantly under scrutiny from the public eye and his family. But unknown to him, this would soon change.
Not Taking It For Granted
Of course, Liam appreciated and did not take for granted all the gifts that came with being a Warren. He went to a good school and got a great start in his career as an architect. But something would happen that would change his life forever.
One evening, Liam was away from home when his mom called with news about his grandpa, who’d been ailing for some time. Not knowing what to expect, Liam quickly answered. The news would leave him shattered.
Liam’s mom told him that his grandpa had sadly passed away. Liam froze with his phone stuck to his ear. He tried to speak but couldn’t. Out of all the Warrens, he’d been the closest to his grandpa, and he’d idolized the man for all his accomplishments in life.
Liam even became an architect because his grandpa was one, and he’d groomed Liam to love everything that came with designing houses. Liam didn’t know how much his grandpa’s passing would affect his life.
Days passed, and Liam’s grandpa was laid to rest alongside his forefathers in a beautiful ceremony. Soon after, his lawyer read his will, informing Liam what his grandpa had left for him.
At first, Liam was furious that he’d been left a derelict house in Charlestown while the rest of his family got better ends of the deal. He only realized his late grandpa’s motives when he visited the place.
A Derelict House
The house that stood before Liam was a 1,165 square feet skinny house with chipped paint and broken windows. The lawn was overgrown, showing no one had been here for years. Additionally, most of the wood was rotting away, and there seemed to be no furniture inside.
Liam opened the door and entered the house. Broken-hearted by what his grandpa left for him, he turned, ready to go. Then, he noticed something about the place that raised his eyebrows.
The house’s architecture was unlike what Liam was used to. He realized then that the house was a time capsule from the 18th-century.
His mouth fell open as he looked around, assessing every inch of the place. He smiled, thanking his grandpa for leaving such a gem in his name. Then, he had an absurd idea that would turn everything around.
Honoring His Grandfather
“I’ll renovate it, make it a passion project to honor grandpa,” Liam said to himself. He rushed home that evening and set everything in motion. He would spend the next two years renovating the house.
He dipped into his savings and salary, pouring all he could into the renovations. His family and friends laughed at him, with many realtors telling him he was wasting his time. He would prove them wrong.
Beauty That Transcends Time
Months passed as Liam poured his soul into renovating the house. He’d kept its original motif, going as far as tracking down 18th-century furniture to boost the house’s style. When he was finalizing the repairs, people around him started taking notice.
They’d started by laughing at him and had ridiculed his efforts for two years straight. But through this time, Liam had kept his eyes on the ball, looking to honor his grandpa the best way he could.
Liam successfully finished the house, creating a time capsule to the 18-century with his design language. By then, he was the talk of Charlestown, a man who’d gone above and beyond to restore a house as an honor to his grandpa, who taught him everything he knew.
The buzz spread throughout Boston, and soon enough, respected realtors came asking to acquire the house from Liam. Would he give it up?
A Million Dollar Reality
The house Liam had renovated was ten feet wide. It fit perfectly with the neighborhood and had the best aesthetics in the entirety of Charlestown.
When he finally decided to sell it at auction, he had no idea how big the selling price would go. By the end of the auction, the highest bid was $1.25 million, a price that left Liam speechless. But there was more.
Celebrating Lost Times
The buyer informed Liam that they weren’t necessarily going to live in the house but turn it into a museum to showcase the town’s heritage. They would populate it with more 18th-century furniture, paintings, and sculptures and open it to the public eye as a landmark site.
Regardless of what they were to do with the home, they would keep its original name. Would he accept such a deal?
The Right Thing To Do
Liam consulted with his family about letting the house go, and they all agreed that he should follow his heart. He’d started this journey angry at his grandpa for leaving him a derelict house, and now it was about to sell for more than a million dollars.
Liam weighed everything and saw it would be best to sell the house. Although he’d grown attached to it over the years he’d spent renovating it, he knew it would be the best way forward. But was this the right thing to do?
Making The Decision
Liam was caught between wanting to keep the house for himself and letting the public have it to celebrate his family’s legacy. As he sat pondering the matter, he realized that he’d felt this same way when he heard his grandpa’s lawyer read the will.
He’d been selfish then, and that wouldn’t be the case here. He called the buyer and set everything in motion, knowing that wherever his grandpa was now, he was proud of all Liam had done. But how had an absurd 10-foot-wide house come to be in the first place?
An Impulse Purchase
Liam’s grandpa was a lover of oddities. When he’d seen the skinny house, he’d immediately fallen in love with it. He bought it on a whim, intending to fix it up and restore it to its former glory.
He loved the house’s strange history and story. But, unfortunately, his ailing health prevented him from carrying out the renovations he had dreamed of.
The house was extremely unusual, and it had been built with a very particular purpose in mind: revenge. The man who had built it made sure that he made life very difficult for one particular group of people in his neighborhood.
Placement was very important to Lewis Sharp, so much so that the house was so unpractical that livability seemed like an afterthought.
Peace And Quiet
Lewis Sharp had lived in the 1830s, and was a hardworking man. He loved nothing more than to arrive home from a long day of work, pour himself a stiff drink, and relax for the evening.
Saturday Evening Post
But one thing always stopped him from enjoying his peace and quiet in the evenings, and soon he was at his wits’ end.
Spark Of Brillance
Sharp was plagued by the noise of people loitering in the adjacent alleyway, and the sounds of broken bottles and late night brawls would float straight up into his upper-story window at night.
Vintage New York
More so, he was sick and tired of the loud clip-clop of the horse-drawn carriages as they clattered under his window. One day, he hatched a genius plan.
Sharp began to cackle wildly to himself. He knew just what he would do to stop the infernal noise and get even. But was it legal?
He didn’t care about the logistics, he would do it anyway. He was going to stop the traffic if it was the last thing he ever did. They were all going to pay.
Making Them Pay
Sharp quickly put his plan in action and started to build. The alleyway was narrow, but he would make it work. No wagon would ever drive through here again, he thought gleefully.
He hated traffic, and never wanted to hear it from his window ever again. Then, he ran into a complication.
The alleyway was public property, and Sharp was not permitted to build on it. But, he absolutely had to go through with his masterful plan for revenge.
He used his position as a chairperson on the council board to get his way and pull off one of history’s biggest pranks — and leave his mark on the neighborhood forever.
More than 200 years later, Liam’s grandpa Charlie Warren saw the auction listing for Lewis Sharp’s house and knew he just had to buy it. It was an impractical and architectural oddity, but he had to have it.
Youtube – OWN
He had passed the historic “Spite House” for years on his way to his office, but he was never prepared for what he saw inside.
Many house flippers would advise that redecorating and fixing old houses can become huge complicated projects and eat away at your savings.
Fully aware of this and the fact that he bought this tiny “Spite House” on a whim, Charlie was not prepared for what was to come. Knowing that he was also getting on in years, he just hoped he’d be able to finish what he’d taken on.
At the age of 60, Charlie Warren had become so enamoured with the “Spite House” that he made the impulse decision to spend all his savings on it. He kept it secret from his relatives and planned to do the renovations himself, but he’d been too optimistic about his health.
Within six months, his eyesight failed Soon after, he was forced to move into a care facility. The skinny house stood crumbling for another ten years – untouched until Charlie’s passing.
Liam had done an excellent job of highlighting original elements of the house, leaving the brick walls and wooden floors intact.
Old Town Home
He had made changes to make the home more space-efficient, such as moving the heating and cooling system to a tiny attic space, and installed space-saving cabinets to accommodate a water heater and even a stacked washer-dryer unit.
The house had a distinctive 18oos feel to it, and is also reminiscent of being in the cabin of a ship.
Tiny House Blog
In fact, it is so similar that Liam considered renting the house out to people who are about to embark on ocean cruises so that they can get used to living in such a small space.
Liam stunned everyone with what he was able to achieve. He had dedicated himself to redecorating his grandfather’s house and simultaneously make sure that it resembled the period it dated back to. The results of his achievement were breathtaking.
House and Television Bqbrasserie
Not only had Liam honoured his grandpa in the best way he knew how, he had made the town a little more magical.
The residents of the town all love the house and the Liam enjoyed introducing new people to his humble abode before he sold it. Most people express amazement and the skinny house elicits an immediate reaction.
It’s become somewhat of a tourist attraction and there is even memorabilia like pictures on napkins and cards that show old scenes of the town on the walls.
The House That Spite Built
Lewis Sharp’s stunt to divert traffic was unprecedented. The house he built in the alleyway was only 10 feet wide — 1,165 square feet spread over two stories.
Youtube – OWN
The house was built using the adjacent houses’ walls, and the gouges from the wheels of the carriages that Sharp had hated so much can still be seen on the living room wall today.