We'd like to introduce you to the newest edition to the Gothamist Vault of Awesome/Insane New York Architectural Stories: "The Queerest House in the Country" aka the "Spite House." Only five-feet wide, the Upper East Side house was built for the sole intention of satisfying a grudge between the owner of the house and the his neighbor. The story begins (from Valentine's Manual of Old New York (1929)):

In the year 1882 one Hyman Sarner, a clothier, who owned several lots on East 82nd Street, wished to build apartment houses on his property, which extended to within a few feet of Lexington Avenue. On the Lexington Avenue side was a very long and very narrow strip of land, absolutely valueless, he thought, for any building purpose, unless taken in conjunction with adjoining land.

Sarner ascertained that one Joseph Richardson was the owner of the narrow strip along the Avenue. He offered Richardson $1,000 for the land, but Richardson demurred, saying he considered the property worth very much more. He wanted $5,000. Sarner refused to pay this price and Richardson called his visitor a "tight-wad" and slammed the door on him. Sarner then proceeded with the construction of his apartment house and arranged with the architect who drew the plans that there should be windows overlooking Lexington Avenue. When the houses were finished Richardson noted the windows and then and there determined upon his curious revenge.

"I shall build me," he said to his daughtter, "a couple of tall houses on the little strip which will bar the light from Sarner's windows overlooking my land, and he'll find he would have profited had he paid me the $5,000."

And he did. And trust us, that was just the beginning of an incredible New York story. A story which has officially made our day (thanks Pop!). Anybody know of any similarly crazy stories for us to add to the vault? Put 'em in the comments!

Photograph taken from the nyc-architecture.com.