The Skinny Building Restored

The Skinny Building is restored to its original five-foot-deep glory. Actually, that’s five feet two inches: the Skinny Building, on Forbes Avenue at the corner of Wood Street, is 80 feet long, 3 stories tall, and 5 feet 2 inches deep. Is it the skinniest building in the world? That depends on how you measure.  A building in Vancouver’s Chinatown is listed by recordkeepers as the shallowest in the world, but although its ground floor is four feet eleven inches deep, oriels make the upper floor much deeper.

An interesting fact about this building is that people literally don’t see it, even with its splendid new Victorian color scheme. Try it sometime: stand with an out-of-town visitor at the southeast corner of Forbes and Wood, and ask the visitor to describe the building on the opposite corner. Your visitor will almost certainly give you a description of the Roberts Building; it’s as though the human brain does not have a category for buildings only five feet two inches wide.

For comparison, here’s how the Skinny Building looked in 2013, before the restoration:

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