Giant castles and faraway place are just some of the images that describe a child’s imagination. For us, it was the skinny house.
Tucked away and set back on a modest little street called Grand, in Mamaroneck NY, sits this simple little home we’ve always referred to as the skinny red house.
Our history and affection for this place began as a childhood memory as our family drove southbound along the I-95 NY Thruway for frequent visits into the city from our home in Stamford Ct.
The anticipation was always there and when you looked over across the eastbound lane, there it sat, the back view of this 10 ft X 39 ft house. Just a few fleeting seconds long enough to take notice always left us wondering--- Who could possibly live in such a paper-thin house? This was the mystery.
The logistics of the house itself wasn’t what interested me. As a child, my imagination filled my head with such possibilities; a family of exceptionally small stature living there with miniature animals, while sleeping in tiny beds and sitting on miniature furniture. The other possibility floating around was it was built as a child’s playhouse. Wouldn’t that be great?
Whatever the story behind this unique dwelling unknown to us, especially without googling it back then, the house provided us with years of intrigue allowing us to envision the imaginable.
While our childhood years have passed and no longer able to see the house from the Thruway at exit 18A due to a barrier wall, the memory still lingered up until recently when I took a trip to NYC.
Like real road warriors, my sister and I made a special journey to find the little skinny house that haunted our imaginations for years. This time we were able to get up close and personal.
I’m not sure what I was expecting to find as an adult, but I wasn’t disappointed. This time I knew the story. While it didn’t include any childhood fantasies, the red skinny house had an interesting history about its builder and the families that are part of its story. It left a legacy for its community of great ingenuity, resourcefulness and a positive neighborly spirit.
As a child I loved the red Skinny house and as an adult I love the Seely Skinny House even more.
--JMD- is the creator of Aging Creative
The Skinny House of Mamaroneck
Nathan Seely was one of the first African American homebuilders in New York. He was the architect of the famed Skinny House built in Mamaroneck during the Great Depression. --Skinny House: A Memoir of Family By Julie L Seely
***To learn more about the skinny house known as the Seely Skinny House click onto to following links;