Photo by Douglas Romines
A house passing in the day
A beach house floating on a river is usually a homeowner’s worst nightmare, but it was all according to plan last Friday. The Lieb House, the second home ever designed by renowned architect Robert Venturi, was tugged from the Jersey Shore to Glen Cove on Long Island. Architect Frederic Scwartz, a Venturi admirer and former collaborator, said the home with its unusually large circular window was “the first pop architecture house.”
Schwartz, who helped save the home, also led a weeklong series of events and lectures on Venturi centered at the Seaport’s Pier 17, where attendees watched the ship make its way up the East River last week. When Schwartz and Venturi’s son heard the house was slated for demolition, they got a brief delay and were able to locate people to preserve the house — Deborah Sarnoff and Robert Gotkin, a married couple who already owned a Venturi home on Glen Cove.
Venturi and Schwartz were picked to redesign the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in 1992, but their large clock was never built. Venturi eventually resigned from the project and Schwartz’s new design for the Lower Manhattan building was completed in 2005.