Have you ever thought of a private property slightly larger than a slice of pizza? Possibly not. But here comes New York City, which takes us back to the ancient times of 1910, when the government crushed around 250–300 buildings into pieces to build new subway lines and widen the already existing streets. But there are always some people who have such a strong connection with their bricks and beams that they fight to the last breath to resist such transformations. The same happened with a person named David Hess, who held out strongly against eminent domain for years and resisted this change. But how far could he go? Ultimately, he had to give up on his property in 1913, labeled as “Voorhis”, which was a five-storey building, due to the pressure and restrictions from the government. All things considered, he still kept a remnant of his property, which is just a 500-square-inch concrete triangle to demonstrate to the government that he has not given up entirely on his property yet.
The government, however, has tried to utilize this last remnant of his property as a placard for the public footpath. But Hess again refused this proposal. Despite this, the government had managed to deploy this for the sidewalk but had given the ownership rights to Hess by displaying this statement on this small piece as; “Property of the Hess Estate Which Has Never Been Dedicated for Public Purposes” on July 27, 1922, thereby trying not to hurt the strong sentiments of Hess and to give his piece of property a unique representation as well, through which he could be recognized. On this triangular whiff, nearly thousands of people pass by every day, thus acknowledging Jess’s entity and the struggle behind it.
An equally significant aspect is that this triangle was then sold to the nearby village in 1938 for an estimated value of $1000. However, in today’s times, its value should be around $17,000. According to Wikipedia, this small triangular chunk of the property was sold to Yashiva University in 1995, but there are some related facts based on which some people claim that this property is still in the hands of the nearby village. However, the exact acquisition of this property is still unknown.