Takanassee Beach is One of Sandy's Many Victims [PHOTOS]

Historic building destroyed by hurricane


One of Long Branch's most historic structures did not survive Hurricane Sandy's wrath.

The US Life Saving Station Boathouse located on the remains of Takanassee Beach Club on Ocean Avenue was destroyed by the powerful winds and flood waters of the hurricane.

Long Branch Historical Association Trustee Beth Woolley said the destruction of the structure is a loss for the history of the area

"It was a beautiful , totally unique, One of a Kind US Life Saving Station Boathouse  designed by Victor Mendleheff and erected in 1903," Woolley said in an e-mail to Patch. "It along with the rest of the property have been severely neglected since the Peters sold it and  much of it's land has been lost to erosion."

All that remains of the building is piles of debris around what was once the parking lot for Takanassee Beach Club.

It was one of three historic buildings on the property, but the other two were removed from the lot by Douglas Jemal earlier this year. Jemal is restoring the buildings, the Captain’s House from the 1870s and the 1903 Port Huron House, at his residence at 900 Ocean Ave.

The boathouse was also set to be restored, but it is now a much larger project for whomever decides to do it. Woolley said she has the original plans for the boathouse for anyone who has an interest in rebuilding it, or if the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection requires its reconstruction.

The landscape of the former site of Takanassee Beach Club, which has been closed for many years, was changed by Hurricane Sandy.

"With this storm (Lake Takanassee) has found a new path through the property and in it's path ripped apart the retaining wall that keeps much of the land from washing out with the tides," Woolley said. "The NJDEP should research the possibility of  opening up this inlet to allow the fish to spawn and reduce flooding upstream."

Takanassee Beach was still a popular destination for beachgoers this summer and is a public beach access area.

Issac Chera currently owns the lot and originally had plans to build high density housing on the property, according to Long Branch Planning Board Chairman Ed Thomas. Thomas said there are many obstacles for that project and that there is currently no application to build anything on the property before the planning board.

Regardless of what is eventually put on the property, the area must remain as a public beach access point, Thomas said.

"He can't do anything to restrict public access," Thomas said. "He has to maintain the public right of way."

Woolley said Takanassee Beach has a lot of historic relevance and that people should not forget it.

"Two shipwrecks ( the Adonis and the Rusland ) lie right off this property and remind us that this is far from the first nor will it be the last storm that will reach this shoreline," Woolley said. "Veterans Day reminds us that our U.S. Coast Guard can trace it's very  roots back to this property and the heroic men who risked their lives to save others from such storms as the one we just encountered."

Ron Allen November 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Chera wants to build on the property. Imagine what would have happened if there had been resdiential buildings on that property. Many of the other beachfont buildings in Long Branch were protected because they sit on the bluff. Takananssee doesn't have this protection..


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