NEW JERSEY (WTXF) - Jersey Shore beaches are filled with vacation homes with designs ranging from the mundane to the outrageous. One well-known Margate home recently purchased is likely to be torn down and that’s stirring up old emotions from the town, especially from the architect who designed it. FOX 29’s Hank Flynn has the story.
"It's a mixed emotional experience. Because on the one hand , it's one of my early works and I think a powerful piece of architecture. But on the other hand, it's a house that I have embarrassment about because of what I failed to accomplish from the beach."
Joel Levinson has it on good authority that the Sheikman House will be torn down. One of his first designs as a professional architect. The house on the beach in Margate has been sold for more than 4 million dollars. FOX 29's Hank Flynn saw it today and shot it's modern lines and trademark feature and that massive outdoor room on the beach-side that's very well-known to locals. Mr. Levinson, the architect, will be a little disappointed of its going.
When FOX 29''s Hank Flynn met Joel earlier today at his Mount Airy home he wasn't as certain. While he spoke of his client being very happy with the design -- the ocean-side open space in particular -- mission accomplished. But that same porch -- it looks different from the outside -- and Joel's his own worst critic.
"It turns a knot in my stomach when I look at it. It's because I in a sense it's wrong. And that's why it elicits comments from people like Ugliest House on the Beach. Ugliest house, whatever. To a sum degree I share that view. I share that perspective," he explained.
But see that's the word -- perspective. FOX 29's Hank Flynn did get a chance to see that space from the other side -- the inside -- and it was a fine place to be. He could see what Levinson had successfully built for his client and it's a beautiful place to relax.
Now, the critics are there. Like two women Flynn spoke with off-camera. They said they'd swing the wrecking ball themselves. But others were kinder they called it progress.
As for Joel Levinson, he's designed scores of homes that have been lauded throughout the architectural world. UPenn's even archiving all of his work. But this house his honesty about his feelings about it all these years later that stands out.
So at the end of the day if FOX 29's Hank Flynn bought this place he would be saving it and restoring it. He thinks it's cool and has style.