A year has passed since Richard and Jennifer Schifter took a plunge into the Vineyard unknown and moved their 8,000-square-foot house away from an eroding Chappaquiddick bluff.

Looking back at the complex project this month, parties involved pronounce the project a success.


The Edgartown conservation commission grapples with an extensive landscape plan to restore the oceanfront Schifter property on Chappaquiddick where an 8,000-square-foot house was recently moved.
After about seven months of work and one highly visible house move that attracted national attention, construction work on the Schifter property on Chappaquiddick is coming to a close. A barge is expected to come into the Edgartown harbor this week to remove equipment and Richard Schifter said his family expects to spend Thanksgiving back in their relocated home.

About a year ago the Edgartown conservation commission approved emergency measures to stem erosion at the Schifter’s Wasque property.

After several days of inching forward along a deep, wide sandy trench, a Chappaquiddick home arrived late Tuesday at its new location farther away from a rapidly eroding bluff.

It’s been less than a year since emergency actions began to save the Wasque home of Richard and Jennifer Schifter. The key part of the project came this week with the move of the 8,300-square-foot main house.

On a misty, windy morning in April 2007 Chris Kennedy, Martha’s Vineyard superintendent for The Trustees of Reservations, had just returned from the part of South Beach in Edgartown known as Norton Point. The night before Katama Bay had filled to overflowing by the flood of an astronomical high tide, topped off by the overwash and storm surge of a Patriots’ Day gale.
Early summer fog blew across the moors at Wasque Reservation last Saturday morning, a soft blanket of dampness settling over tiny, salt-blasted wildflowers. All was quiet. A short distance away was the place where fishermen once stood famously shoulder to shoulder, casting deep into the rip tides for blues. But few fishermen come to this spot anymore. What was once a wide sandy beach is now a sheer cliff in a land that has been under assault by a relentless ocean for the past six years.