A couple of weeks ago I posted a couple of entries about people who refused to give up their homes to new development and ended up being surround by a parking lot, freeway, or airport. Many readers offered stories of other holdouts. Here they are.
Here's a long interview with 40-year-old Mrs Wuping, the owner of the "nail house" (called that because it sticks out of the pit around it like a nail).
Wuping: until present I haven’t received a single bit of monetary compensation or a resettlement. According to the pertinent regulations, at the minimum they have to give us temporary housing, and you’ve seen in the picture there aren’t any, we can’t even get up to the building. This absolutely is the government and businessmen working together; there is nothing we can do. Jiulong Hills is completely managed by the district party committee and government. At the hearing yesterday I cited several laws and regulations, all are explicit, the city cannot force people to leave their homes for demolition.
Kurt Randall says:
Hey, there is another guy like this in Hamilton Ontario, whose house is surrounded by a mall parking lot. I've admired the guy for years every time I drive by for not giving up. I've always wondered what is going to happen to these sorts of places once the homeowner finally moves or dies. Sadly, I can't imagine that most of these holdout houses will survive their owners.
All these stories about companies building around homeowners who wouldn't sell out in the face of "progress," and no link to arguably the most famous example? I refer, of course, to the case of one Mr. B. Bunny, who successfully defended the sanctity of his American home against an *extremely* aggressive developer. His brave struggle was documented in this 1950 film by historian Charles M. Jones.
In response to the article about the Chinese leaving a house standing in the midst of a construction site, I'd like to point out that this isn't the first time this has been done.
Around 100 years ago, in Seattle Washington, they undertook a project and washed away and entire large hill before this sort of thing would have been illegal for environmental reasons. Anyone who didn't sell their land and go along with the regrading was left on what is known as a "Spite Mound". There are various photos of these, including on the page linked.
I love the farmhouse at the end of the runway at the Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Montana. There is a high barbwire security fence that runs along the highway, then cuts in and around the house, then back out along the highway. It's great.
Andrew Webb says:
Mark, I'm late to the party with my favorite homeowner holdout, but here
The two houses on a quarter acre, surrounded by a parking lot, belong to
the family of Adele Martinez, who, in the mid-1990s, fought efforts by
the state to buy her property for $119k for its planned, $16.5 million
National Hispanic Cultural Center. As you can see, she prevailed, and
they built around her. Adele has since died, but her family still lives
there, where they have a beautiful view of a parking lot.
Last May, the Washington Post profiled a man who refused to sell his hundred year old house to developers who had purchased the entire block. At the time of the article, the house jutted out into a 40 ft deep chasm buttressed by a rather precarious-looking system of boards constructed by the developers. Photo here.
Here is another holdout. (In Harrisburg, PA) Link
A similar case but with a twist. When my former company, Microsoft,
was building their Redmond West campus, they purchased an old chicken
farm a mile or so from the main campus. The owner didn't want to move
his parents however, so part of the deal was that their house could
stay intact at the same location until they died. It's circled in red
in the attached pic. As far as I know, it's the only private residence
on any MS property.
Here are two
guys who won't sell to Marist College in Poughkeepsie,
This house not only borders a major artery in northern Delaware it actually sits on the entrance ramp besides a GM plant. Probably seemed like a good idea at the time.