While long term Alameda residents may know about the small little home at the corner of Broadway and Crist, it always provides a bit of humor when they learn about the history surrounding it.  

Most visitors or Alamedans will pass it a trip to South Shore Center, or on their way to work, and not even know that it is there.  But, if they take a look at it closely, they will no doubt smile with amusement because of it's odd shape and tiny lot.

It was built by Charles Froling at the turn of the 20th century as a classic Victorian, with all the appropriate architecture known at the time.  It  offered a handsome design, beautiful wood trim, lots of windows, and good quality workmanship.  It was soon known as the "Spite House".

It seems that during the time of it's planned construction, the city of Alameda had made plans to build a street in the immediate area.  To do so, they took a very large portion of Mr. Froling's land, which was particularly annoying to him because it had been his intent to create a showplace home on his once spacious property.  

When all was said and done, he was left with a piece of land measuring just 54 feet long and 10 feet wide! He was not deterred, and to spite both the city and an adjacent neighbor, he moved forward and built his home anyway--which you see today.  Since he could not go out, he cleverly went up as far as he was allowed. 

It still stand defiantly on it's little corner lot, and it is a tribute to a man who would not give in to setbacks.  


Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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