Originally built in 1920, Stilt City is is one of six vacant bungalows in the 10-bungalow Nancy Court. Previously the block was completely occupied with bungalow courts to the beachfront, which have been demolished starting from the ocean and moving bay-side to make way for new condominium developments.
The Bungalow was The Rockaways preferred housing style during its heyday as a working-class beach resort community. There were thousands of bungalows in the early 1900s, now they are estimated to be fewer than 400. Their original design typology includes "a compact design, uniform facades, exposed rafters and integrated porches."
Hasty and GC Palmer Thompson-Moss are surveying the existing plumbing system and utility lines. Good News- the sewer connection is usable!
Stilt City was vacant at the time of Superstorm Sandy, and spent nearly 8 months afterward without being gutted for water-damaged materials and mold. The beam-on-pier design of the bungalow meant that only about 12-18 inches of water entered the main space, but this, coupled with prolonged exposure to the elements after flooding, meant that all the existing electrical, heat and gas lines will have to be replaced and tested before utility service can be restored.
The first round of gutting including removing all the drywall and fiberglass insulation, which was logged with water and mold. This process revealed extensive roof damage that predated Sandy, from years of neglected leaks that had deteriorated areas of roof sheathing. Additional evidence of prolonged neglect included mouse nests that infested about 25% of the bungalow's inner walls and ceiling.
The condition of the bungalow as well as its small size and single-tenant occupancy make it unappealing to developers who buy properties to turn profit. Most families are not in the position to put the amount of work needed to extensively renovate a damaged home. This may be one reason why the bungalows are being systematically bulldozed to pave way for more profitable housing styles. Stilt City is committed to the task of giving this bungalow a new life, as a stand against an urban development system that prioritizes profit over community history and identity.