Severe erosion on Nantucket’s south shore led to the demolition Thursday morning of a beach house that had been condemned by the town over the summer.
The house at 21 Sheep Pond Road was the latest victim of erosion on the island after 35 feet of the dune was lost to the waves over the past year. A storm in June undercut the southeast corner of the home, causing the deck to collapse into the sand.
On Thursday morning, it took a Toscana Corp. excavator less than an hour to bring the beach house down and reduce it to rubble.
Back in July, the Board of Health voted to ratify an emergency condemnation order on the property. The owners of the home - George and Marie Frazza, of New York City - were ordered to remove the deck, all septic components, and to begin the process of abandoning the property.
The Frazzas have owned the property since 1995 when they purchased it for $557,500. They did not return a message seeking comment. The 2,300-square-foot home was built in 1976, according to property records.
The house behind it at 22 Sheep Pond Road - which now has direct ocean views - sold in Dec. 2022 for $2.3 million.
Photos below by Kit Noble:
Sheep Pond Road has been an erosion hotspot on Nantucket for many years, with numerous homes having succumbed to erosion. 13 years ago, the late Gene Ratner lost his long battle with the waves when his home at 19 Sheep Pond Road collapsed into the ocean. Today, the entirety of Ratner’s property is now submerged.
The town has been working for years with private landowners in the area to move the road and preserve access to the homes in the area. In July, the Select Board met in an executive session to review a new memorandum of agreement with the Nantucket Conservation Foundation to establish an alternative access for Sheep Pond Road due to the ongoing erosion. If approved, the plan will be for the town to construct the road, after which the Conservation Foundation will own the road and then grant easements to abutting property owners.