Tiny Houses of Kanawha City

Yesterday, I shared with you a photo of a shanty by Jerry Waters. After I found that picture I started exploring his site and discovered this link to the Tiny Houses of Kanawha City. Jerry gave me permission to share them with you. Here is what Jerry has to say about them.

Kanawha City has always been known as both a place of Mansions and Bungalows. The Libby Owens Ford glass plant brought many workers to Kanawha City, especially from Belgium. Add to that mix the many others who decided to call Kanawha City home, and you have a very eclectic bunch of houses from the very fine to the very modest.

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One of the odd things about Kanawah City is how many of the lots were laid out: These were only 20 feet wide. The homes that were built on these narrow lots sometimes were only 13 feet wide themselves!

Over the years, many people added to the backs of these houses, since they couldn’t add to the sides. One former city official, knowing that property codes were about to change, bought up all the remaining 20 foot lots and built tiny houses on them in the 50s. Here are some of these interesting little houses…..

I am showing you some of my favorites here, so be sure and go see all of the tiny houses by visiting the Tiny Houses of Kanawha City page on Jerry Water’s site.

Photo Credit: Jerry Waters

This little bungalow is probably the closest to an original

This little bungalow is probably the closest to an original

Two story tiny house that looks much bigger than it is.

Two story tiny house that looks much bigger than it is.

One of the fancier tiny houses in Kanawha City

One of the fancier tiny houses in Kanawha City

Another two story tiny house

Another two story tiny house

Nice porch and stone work.

Nice porch and stone work.

Simple, pleasing design.

Simple, pleasing design.

Large window with an inviting entry way.

Large window with an inviting entry way.

This beautiful little house is perfection in miniature.  Larger than the others,  but still compact none the less.

This beautiful little house is perfection in miniature. Larger than the others, but still compact none the less.

by Kent Griswold (Tiny House Blog)

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Judy - September 6, 2009 Reply

Very nice little houses but just reading the name Kanawha City made my olfactory nerve perk up. It smells really bad there.

Jerry Waters - September 7, 2009 Reply

I’m not sure why the comment “It smells really bad there” was made.

The fact is that Kanawha City smells clean and fresh, which is why so many multi million dollar homes are being built there today. All of the glass plants are long gone. There’s nothing there now but stores and nice homes. The few chemical plants left in the Kanawha Valley are far down the river in South Charleston and Nitro. They rarely make a smell anymore. The offending plants were moved overseas 25 years ago.

Mary P - September 7, 2009 Reply

Cute little houses. I would certainly be happy living in any one of the one story homes. Too bad they didn’t include pictures of the interiors of some of the homes and/or floor plans. I would have loved to see what they were like inside.

Marilyn - September 7, 2009 Reply

I love these little Kanawah City houses!
The average lot width in my neighborhood is 40 feet. Occasionally you can find a house on a 30 foot lot. Our house is 1and 1/2 stories and is just under 1000 sq. ft. But there are many adorable homes that are smaller in this Detroit suburb.

    Marta - June 4, 2014 Reply

    I write for the Charleston Gazette and would like to get some interior photos of these tiny homes in Kanawha City. Please contact me at marta.tankersley@wvgazette.com if you are interested in helping me out with an article. THANKS!

Susan J. - September 8, 2009 Reply

Where the heck is Kanawah City? I was wondering til I got to the very last post – indicates it’s near Detroit.

Marilyn - September 8, 2009 Reply

Sorry, Susan J., my comment misled you. I don’t know where Kanawah City is. My best guess is that it’s somewhere in the Carolinas, but I could be completely wrong about that.

Ilana - September 11, 2009 Reply

Kanawha is in Iowa… of course 😉

(never been, just google mapped it)

John Paulsen - October 21, 2009 Reply

Very close to Charleston, West Virginia. No prizes today for the guesses offered. Thannks for the info.

Greycoat - February 28, 2010 Reply

Having lived in the Kanawha City area it is part of Charleston, WV. By the way the smell is long gone, i.e. the Libby plants closed decades ago.

gail alvin - June 14, 2010 Reply

I live in one of those small houses and they are alot bigger then they look from the outside, we love Kanawha city

    Marta - June 4, 2014 Reply

    I write for the Charleston Gazette and would like to get some interior photos of these tiny homes in Kanawha City. Please contact me at marta.tankersley@wvgazette.com if you are interested in helping me out with an article. THANKS!

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