Word of the Day – Nail House

Wikipedia:

A nail house (dingzihu or ???) is a Chinese neologism for homes belonging to people (sometimes called “stubborn nails”) who refuse to make room for development, often in an attempt to negotiate a high price in exchange for selling out. The term, a pun coined by developers, refers to nails that are stuck in wood, and cannot be pounded down with a hammer.[1][2] A number of high-profile nail houses have received widespread attention in the Chinese press.

In one famous case, one family among 280 others at the location of a six-story shopping mall under construction at the location of a former “snack street” in Chongqing refused for two years to vacate a home their family had inhabited for three generations.[6] Developers cut their power and water, and excavated a 10-meter deep pit around their home. [1][8] The owners broke into the construction site, reoccupied it, and flew a Chinese flag on top. Yang Wu, a local martial arts champion, made a staircase to their house out of nunchakus, and threatened to beat any authorities who attempted to evict him.[1] His wife, a restaurateur named Wu Ping who had planned to open a restaurant in the home’s ground floor, granted interviews and frequent press releases to generate publicity.[2] The owners turned down an offer of 3.5 million yuan (US$453,000), but eventually settled with the developers in 2007.[6]

Did you catch that? Yang Wu, a local martial arts champion, made a staircase to their house out of nunchakus. That’s it. My next house is going to have a staircase made out of nunchakus.

Knoxville has a number of nail houses. I can think of three past and present in the Fort Sanders/UT area. There used to be a little house on a tiny wooded lot next to the First Tennessee bank on the Strip. It succumbed to a Chili’s restaurant a while back.

There’s the little cottage and the brick house surrounded by Fort Sanders Hospital, Children’s Hospital, and their attendant parking lots. A half dozen blocks away there’s this brick house, which used to be one of many, but all of its neighbors were knocked down and replaced by new apartment buildings.

There’s a payday loan place on Alcoa Highway across from the airport surrounded by new hotels and empty lots ready for construction. I’m guessing the owner is holding out for a jackpot.

Hat tip to Jason Kottke, who has links to some famous nail houses.

Previous WOTDGerman Silver, Britannia Silver, Sterling Silver, Sheffield Plate

This entry was posted in Word of the Day. Bookmark the permalink.

 

 

2 Responses to Word of the Day – Nail House

  1. Placebo says:

    The Seattle Times just wrote another article about this “Nail House” in Seattle.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009430782_ballard08m.html

  2. CWBIII says:

    He’s one in Fountain City on Midlake. Surrounded by a St. Mary’s medical office. As I recall the owners had a contract to sell to the developer, but tried to balk on the contract for a higher price. The developer said “No thanks” and built around them.

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=11th+street+knoxville,+tn&sll=37.509726,-95.712891&sspn=41.740265,73.652344&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=36.035004,-83.933825&spn=0.001369,0.002384&z=19