In 2007, Washington, D.C. residents Richard and Jennifer Schifter built a controversial mansion on sleepy (albeit infamous) Chappaquiddick Island. Mr. Schifter, a private equity partner - natch - and his wife, ignored the naysayers, neighbors and nature, triumphantly building their 8,300 square foot summer abode just 300 feet from the bluff edge at Wasque Point. Fast forward six years and erosion has their not-so humble abode now pearl clutchingly close to the edge of that bluff. In other words, if the main residence, guest house, swimming pool, basketball court, landscaping, garage, and whatever else are not relocated asap, they'll be tumbling into the sea in no time (perhaps creating a garbage patch similar to the one in the Pacific?). Thus, the Schifter's have decided to use their considerable resources to move the main residence, guest house, swimming pool, basketball court, landscaping, garage, and whatever else back 275 feet from the eroding shoreline. Here's hoping their engineers have not miscalculated, as some believe they have, and this move will do the trick. Meanwhile, here are eight ridiculous things to know about the Schifter house move:
· According to a work schedule, there will be about 5,000 truck trips to and from the site between April and September, and approximately 1,500 trips between October and December. That's a total of 6,500 trucks trips on the 6.145 square mile island over eight months.
· The 8,300 square foot, 1,200 ton main house - including the basement with a bowling alley and movie theatre- is scheduled to be moved intact sometime in July.
· While digging, an area of "architectural significance" has been uncovered. Alas, archeologists and tribal monitors have determined the contents, "fish and animal bones, broken shellfish fragments and some chipped stone flakes," to be a refuse pit that "was used by Native Americans living on Chappaquiddick sometime in the last 500 to 1,000 years."
· Speaking of trash, "According to files kept by the conservation agent, debris including pool tiles, PVC piping and insulation has been found on the state-owned Leland Beach and as far north as the Dike Bridge, on property owned by the Trustees of Reservations." Don't worry, they're on it.
· Erosion mitigation efforts include a coir envelope system and so far, 2,660 cubic yards of fill has been placed at the eastern ends of the envelopes.
· In March, the bluff was just 24 feet away from the swimming pool and 40 feet from the guest house. Obviously, the swimming pool, guest house and basketball court (where the guest house been temporarily rolled onto) will be relocated.
· The Schifters purchased a neighboring property to make room for the relocation and that house will need to be moved as well.
· The entire excavation to relandscaping process, begun in March, is expected take about one year to complete.
· Schifter House [Vineyard Gazette]
· What money can't buy: a break from nature's fury [Boston Globe]