Resilient Urban Symbols of Individuality.
I had never heard of nail houses before, what an amazing act of resistance!
Reminds me of Stott Hall Farm, solitary and remote, splitting the M62's carriageways in Yorkshire, apparently to circumvent a geological fault. Tho' I much prefer the story that the farmer steadfastly refused to budge.
In the US they're called spite houses and are more common on the Eastern seaboard. There are several in Boston that give neighborhoods extra charm because they are so clearly out of place, the owners refusing to give way to big developers.
We are all nail houses now, standing our ground against totalitarianism. Great article, thank you.
Nice context IRL for the premise of "Up." :)
Such an interesting story. Thinking of Maui and how developers resort to arson to force people out of their homes.
Great essay. We have a nail house here in south Florida
That is truly amazing. I had the privilege of meeting heritage experts from Beijing way back in 1997 when I was working at the NSW Heritage Office and they were bemoaning the Chinese Government policy of pulling down the old Chinese houses (hutong houses) which at least three generations of family could live in. These were houses which had a central courtyard and rooms all around. You can see them in movies such as Raise the Red Lantern and Red Sorghum. Really lovely. These experts were saying that the older members of the community would become isolated in giant high rise flats as many actually did not have working lifts and they would be less community focused.
We had one in Wisconsin with the foxconn development in Mount Pleasant. They finally got just compensation and had their home moved to another property lot. They were the only property taken in the development that was allowed to move their home. All others were demolished. Note Foxconn has not developed and the town has visions of gold from it when in reality it's pebbles.
A couple existed in St. Petersburg FL too but they are on corners - one finally succumbed.
Wow this gives me chills! Claim your space in this world boldly and fearlessly, and don’t let ANYONE knock you down.
Wow! I had no idea there was a name for these buildings. I know I've seen them here in the US, too. They're like islands, alone and exposed, but an oasis amid encroaching urbanization. Thanks for writing about nail houses and bringing them to my attention ☺️
This was fascinating! Never heard of these but so interesting to learn. Thank you 🙏
Interesting! I wonder if there is a USA equivalent of eminent domain, and they are torn down?
In Australia, the local governments are able to 'resume' your land and property to make way for expanded motorways etc. The owner is 'compensated' at whatever is the property value as deemed by the authority taking possession of the property.
Other tricks to force owners from their land are things like rising property rates that make possession of a parcel of land just too expensive to afford.