1423 Rensselaer Avenue

1423 Rensselar-4February 21, 2019

Arguably, it’s one of the most unique houses in the historic district. It could be the smallest house in the historic district at 477 square feet. Truly a tiny house.

It may also have the most rumors about its previous uses. It is rumored that the house was moved to its current location around 1931 after it served its purpose as a school house, or an Army barracks, or a farm house. Or, all three.

The sad little building was scheduled for demolition. But Elizabeth McGovern, whose best friend lived nearby, always loved the “ugly” house. “I called the owner and asked if she’d sell it. Then I became the proud owner of a shack! After major renovations my shack became the tiny house!”

It features a front-facing gable roof, wood butt-end shingles, square wood posts under a shed roof and a text chimney. Elizabeth said at the very least it needed a coat of paint. But she did so much more. “I moved some walls so I could have a closet, a washer/dryer and a bathtub. To make everything fit there was a lot of trial and error and adapting.”

Now, Elizabeth’s dog, Lula, can peer out the low window to watch all the people walk by. Says Elizabeth: “I love how walkable our neighborhood is and how the mix of affordable rentals and single-family houses creates an economically stable and diverse neighborhood.”