MAMARONECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A call is going out to save “the skinny house.”
It’s a local landmark in Westchester County and preservationists want to shore it up before it topples. A termite invasion is just one of the problems, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported Friday.
The first time you see it you’re guaranteed to do a double-take. The house on Grand Street in Mamaroneck is three stories tall but only 10 feet wide. It’s a skinny 80-year-old home that’s drawn tourists and sightseers from all over the world.
“People from Germany, Brazil, Paris; all over and they said they knew about the little house, and now it’s threatened,” said Nancy Picarello, the daughter of the owner.
Termites, it turns out, have done considerable damage to the ground floor beams of the Westchester landmark. Engineers say it’s become unstable.
The house was built during The Depression by a bankrupt builder who needed a place for his family to live. It’s that shape because it has to be.
“He had only 12 and a half feet to build on. That’s what my father gave him. He didn’t own the land. He did a good job,” owner Isa Santangelo said.
The family of four lived here for years before moving to the Midwest. The builder died years ago and Santangelo bought the place back from his family to rent out. The damage was discovered during a renovation between tenants. It’s bad.
“They’ll have to literally lift the house up and literally re-do the foundation, then put the house down and rip apart the walls to see if there’s any other damage,” said Tom Picarello, the owner’s son-in-law.
Those renovations will cost more money than Santangelo has, but she said the original residents and history buffs are putting their heads together to try and find a way to save the space before it becomes just a narrow lot on Grand Street.
The original owner, Nathan Sealy, died in 1964. His grand-daughter, though, has fond enough memories of the house that she’s arriving next week to help Santangelo come up with a plan to save the building.
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