New York’s real estate market is all about making small spaces go a long way, whether you’re decorating an apartment, designing a hotel, or creating the city’s most exclusive bar. Since space comes at such a premium in the city, every square inch counts—especially in these tiny Big Apple spaces.
Photo by Chris Hamby via Flickr
Smallest Piece of Private Property: Hess Triangle
Christopher Street & 7th Ave South
New York, NY 10014
The story of the Hess Triangle is as New York City as it gets, not least because the property is shaped like a slice of pizza. The story goes: In the 1910s, the city was trying to expand a subway line, using eminent domain to claim private property. Furious, one of the affected tenants, David Hess, took the city to court in the hopes of keeping his seven-story building. He lost the case. Years later, in 1922, Hess’s children realized that a tiny triangle of their father’s land had been undeveloped by the city. They reclaimed the sliver of land and mounted the above, very defiant, plaque on it.
Smallest Clock Shop – Sutton Clock Shop
218 East 82nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
New York, NY 10028
The smallest clock and clock repair shop in the city, this family institution was started in 1967 by clock-and-barometer fixer Knud Christiansen. It’s been selling and repairing the city’s finest clocks ever since. Totaling 660 square feet, what the shop lacks in space it more than makes up for in brand recognition.
Smallest Park – Septuagesimo Uno
256 West 71st Street at West End Avenue
New York, NY 10023
One of the smallest parks in Manhattan, the Septuagesimo Uno (pictured above behind Citi Habitats agent Tiga McLoyd) is sandwiched between two four-story brownstones. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation refers to it as a “vest pocket park” and gave it a $14,325 sprucing up in 2000. Now it boasts a few benches, some trees, and an iron gate. Unfortunately, no jungle gym—nowhere to put it!
Smallest Community Theater – Little Victory Theatre
4089 Victory Boulevard at Wild Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10314
Standing at just 496 square feet, Little Victory is the city’s smallest community theater, regularly putting on musicals, concerts, and plays for $22-25. The August show is a revival of Barefoot in the Park, a famous Broadway romantic hit that first premiered in 1963.
Photo by Sphilbrick c/o Wikimedia Commons
Narrowest Townhouse – 75 ½ Bedford/”Millay House”
75½ Bedford Street between Commerce and Moore Streets
New York, NY 10014
This structure stands a scant nine-and-a-half feet wide, earning it a unique title amongst the smallest places in New York City: narrowest townhouse. The house, initially a carriage entranceway for the adjacent property, was converted to a stand-alone structure in 1873. Since then, it has been used as a cobbler’s shop, a candy factory, an artist’s loft, and has even been home to Edna St. Vincent Millay, Cary Grant, Margaret Mead, and John Barrymore. The last recorded sale price for the 1,000-square-foot townhouse was $3.5M in 2013.
Smallest Bar – Threesome Tollbooth
East Williamsburg, New York
If you’re tired of noisy nightlife experiences, Threesome Tollbooth just might be the small space for you. Literally the size of a tollbooth, Threesome is only big enough to fit one bartender and two guests. This bar is so exclusive that you only find out the address on the morning of your reservation. As you might imagine, that table is hard to come by. You can join the waitlist or look out for the next round of reservations which will be released on August 27, 2018 at 1PM.
Smallest Record Shop – House of Oldies
35 Carmine Street between Avenue of the Americas & Bedford Street
New York, NY 10014
How do you fit a quarter of a million vinyl records into a 245-square-foot shop? Just ask shop owner Bob Abramson who has been running House of Oldies since 1969. Abramson doesn’t use any kind of filing system, making this shop the ultimate place to hunt out records you’ve never heard of, and maybe even discover a new favorite.