WILDWOOD — A small A-frame house on the corner of Park Boulevard and Bennett Avenue has been saved from demolition, with plans to move it to an Upper Township site in the coming week.
The red building was built with kit purchased off the catalog circa 1960 and used primarily as a clubhouse for a number of bands. When the property of 207 Bennett Ave. was sold last year, the new owner planned to demolish it.
The group Preserving the Wildwoods attempted to find a new home for the structure and launched a fundraising campaign to cover travel costs.
“It’s not a house as old as some houses on the island. It’s not very grand or fancy,” said Taylor Henry, vice president of Preserving the Wildwoods.
But his smallness and his eccentricity made him well known.
“It makes people happy,” she said. “Even small children. They’ll call it the pizzeria.
Style A home enthusiasts have traveled to the area to photograph it, she said, and it has been featured in magazine articles, websites and other publications.
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The first A-frame vacation home in the United States was built in the 1930s, and in the economic boom after World War II, the design became popular for second homes and vacation spots, according to stories. of style.
The kits sold for around $900, or around $10,000 today.
The style returns. Several companies are now offering new kit versions of the mid-century design.
They don’t offer much headroom.
“They’re very small,” Henry said. “But I think there’s a renewed interest in them because of the tiny house movement.”
In this case, a WWII veteran named Glenn Dye bought the kit and finished the house.
“He was a cool guy,” Henry said.
Dye, who died in 2003, collected antique glass bottles, stamps and other items, and was an avid gardener. He never lived in the building, but instead used it as a lodge for various groups and organizations. At one time it was the headquarters of a national organization of people who collected stamps that had not been cancelled, that is, they had never been used to post a letter.
When the two-bedroom property went up for sale, it was offered as a potential site for Airbnb or another vacation rental. But even in the advertisements, with a price tag of $175,000, the house was portrayed as either in need of repairs or as an opportunity for development.
“It’s a shed. It’s not a house,” said Ed Bixby, who agreed to move the building to his property in Haut-Canton. “There is no kitchen or bathroom.”
He said he was interested in preserving buildings and had a place to keep it on the property. The preservation group set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the relocation, but it shows around $1,000 raised with a goal of $18,000.
Bixby said it would fund the move itself, with reimbursement from the fundraising group.
Time is running out, he said, and it will save the building from the wrecking ball and keep it out of the landfill.
“The most important thing now is to save it because if we don’t move it, it will be demoed,” Bixby said. “I don’t know exactly what we will or won’t do with it.”
Possibilities include using it as a caretaker’s cottage in an Upper Canton cemetery or putting it on a barge to use as a rental cottage, again via Airbnb.
Henry said crews from construction company SJ Hauck of Pleasantville were scheduled to start preparing the house for the move on Thursday. The move is expected to take place in the coming week.
The tiny house has already featured in several vacation snaps and countless Instagram feeds, as well as on the cover of an EP, Taylor said.
“It means a lot to people,” she said.
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