Great Depression-Era ‘Skinny House’ in Westchester Up for Sale

What to Know

  • A historic home built by African American contractor Nathan Seely in 1963 is up for sale in Westchester
  • The 533-square-foot residence on 175 Grand Street is on sale for $275,000
  • The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015

Just a 30-minute drive north of New York City, a historic property dubbed the "skinny house" sits in Mamaroneck, waiting for its new owner.

Built in 1932 by African American building contractor Nathan Thomas Seely, who received the donated land from his neighbor Panfilo Santangelo after he lost his home in early years of the Great Depression, the 533-square-foot home on 175 Grand Street in Westchester is on sale for $275,000, according to the realtor's website.

Using salvaged and recycled building materials, including railroad ties, windows, banisters and even a chicken coop, Seely constructed the one bedroom, one bathroom for him and his wife Lillian Seely. 

Seely's son, Tom, described his father in "Skinny House: A Memoir of Family" as "a very shy, skinny, nerdy adolescent who always had his nose in a book."

While building your own home in those days is common among immigrants and black communities, Seely's home was special due to "efficient and beautiful design, careful engineering, and effective interior plan," said Mamaroneck Historical Society's letter to the National Parks Service, who placed the residence on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

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