Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Sea Rescue for Venturi's Lieb House?

So it looks like Robert Venturi's shore house will be rescued after all, but in a most un-conventional way. As I describe in today's Inquirer, a family in Glen Cove, N.Y. has offered to take in the unwanted Lieb House - Venturi's second completed commission. The only problem is getting it there. Since it's too big to travel by road, and it doesn't make sense to take apart the wood-frame structure, it will have to sail by barge up to Long Island Sound.

Floating a house from Long Beach Island to Long Island turns out to be easier said than done. As of yesterday, the house still hadn't been granted landing or zoning rights by Glen Cove officials. At the same time, the site's buyer, Ziman Development, which bought the house as a tear down, has given the Venturis only until settlement on Monday to move the structure off the site. Their house movers were scheduled to start jacking up the 30-by-37 -foot beach shack today - whatever the weather. Over the next three days, they'll roll it slowly over to the Barnegat marina parking lot. And there it will sit until it's cleared to sail.


Blogger someone who knows said...

The odd thing is that this house was designed as an abstract comment on the bland neighboring shore homes of the time. While it is worthwhile to save it as an architectural artifact, the new location does not provide that context for reference. On the other hand, neither does the Jersey Shore anymore. I would like to see Venturi’s take on a modern McMansion. It would require an even hand to successfully parody a parody.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I now have a greater appreciation of this house because of the angle of this photo. what a difference perspective makes. I agree with someone who knows, it will become less relevant in a new location.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the record, the buyer was hoping to avoid having to tear down this architectural landmark. In fact, relocating the home to a vacant lot on West 27th Street in Barnegat Light was discussed. As the broker involved with the sale, I too looked into relocating the home to one of the properties I own in Barnegat Light. I proposed the idea to my architect and friend Robert Musgnug who was kind enough to do some research and get some numbers together for me. Unfortunatley the time, money, and permitting fiasco typically necessary to accomplish such an objective made it impossible for me at this juncture. Kudos to Jimmy Venturi and the couple from Glen Cove. Kudos to Sheila Ellman for all of her hard work in getting the word out, and helping save this modern architectural landmark! It was truly fascinating watching the workers from the fleets of Atlantic Electric, Verizon, and our local police departments come together with Wolfe Movers to help wheel this boxy structure from 30th street in Barnegat Light, up to the 16th street dock where the home now sits--awaiting the mothership. Amazing.
The most ironic part of the move was watching a man climb down the inside stairwell--as it crossed 20th street and Bayview Avenue in front of my office. Wow. Moving the home itself is a modern marvel!

5:20 PM  
Blogger modernemama said...

fascinating - there's an article in the NYT about it. Seems to be doing better than Andrew Geller's modernist Pearlroth House at Southampton, NY.

4:41 PM  

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