I was surprised to learn that one of my all-time favorite houses – we’re talking going back to college years here folks - in Vancouver British Columbia is for sale! Not necessarily a good thing because it is at risk of being torn down and replaced with some massive modern McMansion.
This was the VERY FIRST house that caught my eye the day I moved to Vancouver. I remember my parents commenting on the distinctive wavy roof because we had never seen anything like it before.
A couple years later, I lived in an attic apartment literally four blocks away from this house during my last two years of university in the late 1990′s.
I drove by this house every day as I took the bus to the University of British Columbia. I walked by it countless times with armloads of groceries. Being a life-long house nut, I was naturally smitten with this little cutie and always wondered what lucky soul lived there.
It turns out the house was owned by an elderly lady who passed away in November 2012. Her heirs are selling off her estate so the home is now up for sale for the first time in many years.
They’re long, they’re lean and they are meant to be mean.
Mean to the neighbors who made someone mad enough to build a tiny house right beside them, cramping the views and ventilation and diminishing adjoining property values.
Yes, that is what all of the following houses have in common: they were built exclusively because someone got a bee in his bonnet.
The Hollensbury Spite House in Alexandria, Virginia
John Hollensbury built this narrow blue house wedged between two other homes in the year 1830. He owned one of the larger homes and the alley beside it, but did not like the fact that people parked their horses in the alley, or that vagrants hung out there. Known to be a cranky, antisocial kind of guy, John Hollensbury took it upon himself to build a house in that space, darn it.
Below is a 1924 photo of the ”Hollensbury spite house” in Alexandria Virginia
Turning heads at 7 feet wide and 25 feet deep.
Wisconsin has some neat off-beat tourist attractions but this one has to be the quirkiest. Not to be confused with the House on the Rock, the Rock in The House attraction is the result of a serendipitous act of nature.
On April 24, 1995, Maxine Anderson had just finished taking photos of her newly remodeled master bedroom when she walked into the kitchen; at that moment a 55-ton boulder rolled down the hill behind her house. The huge disk-shaped rock plowed right into the master bedroom that she had just exited.
The house was knocked a few inches off its foundation from the impact. Husband Dwight Anderson was not home at the time but the couple were so shaken and discouraged, they sold the house within a few days to a local real estate investor thinking that the home would be torn down.
But this was no ordinary real estate investor. John Burt decided that he would keep the stone where it landed and simply open up the house as a tourist attraction. He did exactly that.
Tired of the risk of fire, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes? Then consider the option of a cave house.
This one is located in Chulo Canyon, Arizona and it is up for sale!
It looks teeny-tiny from the exterior, but the living space actually extends back into the cave some 3000 square feet.
I’m a bit claustrophobic and I hate dark rooms with no natural light so you probably couldn’t pay me to live in a house like this. I sure as heck would not pay to live here…
Especially at a price of $1,500,000!
The official name is: Ojo Del Sol (English translation - Eye of the Sun)
It is located in West Berkeley, California. Locals call it the Fish House. The home was actually designed in the early 1990′s by architect Eugene Tsui for his parents so it is also known as the Tsui House.
The building was given its official name – Ojo Del Sol - due to the large, eye-like window on the south side:
The unorthodox house is located on a narrow suburban lot so the big fish eye looks directly (and unblinkingly) onto the neighbor’s house.