Add This Pizza-sized Plot of Land to Your New York City Bucket List

By Erika Owen |
The Hess Estate outside of a bodega

Mariah Tyler

This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

New York City is known around the world for its property costs—apartments can cost more than college tuition payments and owning a building is a pipe dream for many. But hidden among some of the most expensive apartments you'll ever see is a quirky little place called Hess' Triangle.

This pizza-sized slice of land is actually New York City's smallest plot of privately owned property. Atlas Obscura reports that the beginnings of this plot dates back to 1910, when 300 buildings were taken by the city to make more room to expand subway lines. David Hess, who owned a five-story apartment building in the construction area, refused to give up his home.

Eventually, he was forced to give up the actual building, but a 500-square-inch triangle remained.

Mariah Tyler

Hess' luck dipped again when the city asked him to donate his triangle of land to become part of a public sidewalk. So, in true native New Yorker fashion, Hess made an interesting move: He had his remaining land covered in mosaic tiles with the text "Property of the Hess Estate Which Has Never Been Dedicated for Public Purposes.”

It's become something of an attraction for locals and visitors alike. Hess no longer owns the triangle: The shop that sits in front of it, Village Cigars, bought the deed in 1938 for a mere $1,000.

To see it, head to the corner of Christopher Street and 7th Avenue. Don't be surprised if you find a line of people waiting to take a photo.

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