The Grudge is the narrowest building in Beirut, sitting adjacent to the old lighthouse in the Manara neighbourhood, on prime real estate land. I like to walk around the neighbourhood because it houses many old, beautiful, and unfortunately crumbling buildings, set amongst palms and other greenery. The views onto the sea from this hill are superb.
The Grudge has an interesting story: built in the 1950s, it came about as a dispute between two brothers. Each brother inherited a plot of land from their father, but they were unable to agree what to build. The brother who had the plot closest to the roadside decided to develop the land himself. The building he constructed became the embodiment of a grudge: a building to block his brother’s sea view, and to decrease the value of his land.
Although at first it looks too narrow to be inhabitable, inside there are said to be two apartments on each floor – the building is four metres at its widest point. At its narrowest, the building is 60cm wide, which from certain angles makes it look like a wall – one that was built to block a million-dollar view. It’s one of Beirut’s few buildings which will likely be saved by the law – even if the house is demolished, the area of the plot is smaller than the minimum allowed to build on. Only time will tell what will become of it.