In 1914, the government of New York City took ownership of a Manhattan apartment building belonging to one David Hess. The city used a legal power called eminent domain, allowing governments to seize private property for public use—in this case they wanted to expand the subway system. Hess fought them and lost, and…
Some call them "orphan buildings," others call them "nail houses": Homes that remain despite waves of hungry developers who have long since bought and demolished the neighborhoods that once surrounded them. They're the ultimate holdouts, isolated artifacts of long-extinguished communities.
In China, a "nail house" is a home whose resident refuses to leave in order to make way for new construction. Builders have to elaborately construct around it, often leaving behind an eyesore so awesome that it's almost a sculpture. Here are some of the most famous examples of nail houses.
The wheels of progress may turn slowly but they don't ever stop, as these nine landlords have learned the hard way. Our friends at Oobject have assembled the best examples of what resisting gentrification gets you.