Luo Baogen and his wife refused to allow the government to demolish their home in Wenling, Zhejiang province, China, in order to make room for a highway. The new road leads to a new railway station in the city outskirts. The reason they refused to sell to the government was because the compensation wasn’t enough. The couple were the last holdouts, but the impatient government went ahead and built the highway anyway. They just routed around the house!
Recently, however, the China highway house was finally torn down this past Saturday when the Luos finally accepted compensation to the tune of 260,000 yuan ($41,000 USD). This is still much less than the 600,000 yuan ($95,000 USD) it cost them to build the 5 story home. (Huffington Post)
The highway house is commonly referred to as a nail house – a word for homes owned by those who don’t want to sell to make room for new development. The term refers to “nails that are stuck in wood, and cannot be pounded down with a hammer.” (Wikipedia)
One of the more famous nail houses was the Chongqing nail house owned by Wu Ping and Yang Wu. They refused to sell, so developers not only build around them, but cut their utilities and dug a pit around the house 32 feet deep. The owners had to break back into the construction site to get to their home, and then they put up a Chinese flag on top. Eventually they settled, which included an apartment downtown, and the house was demolished in 2007. (China Daily)