What Is Skinny House & Why Did It Go Viral, In This Economy?

Photographed by Ryan Williams.
Never before — at least in our memory — has the word "house" carried so much meaning. At the dawn of the pandemic earlier in the year, we struggled to box in our lives and wondered if it was possible for a whole society to spend life at home. As the pandemic exacerbated our society's failures, mortgage payments are suffering, people are demanding rent cancellation, and the houseless community is becoming more vulnerable than ever.
And then there's skinny house — the viral TikTok phenomenon that rose and fell in popularity in a matter of days. Located in Deerfield, Illinois, "Skinny House" was so-dubbed on TikTok — not for fitting into a size 2, not for being the hottest and meanest girl in school — but for looking like a long thin slice of a house.
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It first went viral last week when TikTok user @eli.korn_ shared footage of himself roaming the house grounds, confirming that it's not an optical illusion, it really is a skinny house. More specifically, this triangle-ish-shaped house is only 3 feet deep at its narrowest point and 20 feet at its widest. It has two bedrooms, a finished basement, and all the windows are on one side. Before TikTok dubbed it the "Skinny House," it was known as the "Pie House."
The house went up for sale in mid-June, according to local broadcasters. It was listed on Zillow for about $260,000 and sold in early August.
The two-bedroom house is thus shaped because it was built on a triangular lot and the original owner wanted to maximize the space. As with any viral TikTok trend, the house broke through the mainstream once people on Twitter began to gawk at the house’s weird proportions, prompting us to only imagine what it would be like to live in one through quarantine.

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