Somers home teetering on edge of Lake Michigan bluff will soon be demolished

NOW: Somers home teetering on edge of Lake Michigan bluff will soon be demolished

Updated: 1:21 p.m. on October 11, 2019

SOMERS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Demolition of a Somers home on the verge of collapsing into Lake Michigan has been pushed back because of an equipment issue.

The construction company tells CBS 58 the crews also won't work in the rain. The company hopes to have the demolition complete by October 18.


Posted: 8:37 p.m. on October 10, 2019

SOMERS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A home hanging off the edge of a lake shore bluff in Somers will be demolished Friday. It’s been a decade-long problem in Kenosha County,  and for the last year and a half, village officials have been working with the owner and Fannie Mae mortgage lenders to figure out a razing plan before the home falls into Lake Michigan.  

Tom and Marge Lindgren bought the home at 609 17th street from Tom’s father, who bought it in the 1970’s. They had no idea parts of it would collapse into Lake Michigan.

“I remember his dad always saying, ‘you guys will never go wrong buying property on the lake,’ which now look how it helped us,” said Marge Lindgren.

Lindgren says storms during the spring of 2018 caused their shoreline to quickly deteriorate. One day their enclosed porch collapsed, and that’s when they knew it was time to leave.

Lindgren stopped making payments, so the bank took over the home and is now responsible for the demolition.  

Family members stopped by the home Thursday to take any remaining memories left in the home.

”It’s a very big sense of relief,” said Lindgren. “I mean it’s just ,you know, people just keep asking and talking about it and it just keeps bringing up hard times.”

”I’m happy that it’s not going to fall in, but it is still sad, and I wish it would’ve been done sooner,” said longtime neighbor, Janae Plunkett.

Plunkett says neighbors are tired of people driving to look at what’s turned into an attraction.

”It’s blocked off and people will come down,” said Plunkett. “Like there’s college kids trying to golf and like, you’re going to fall in.”

Village officials say the long awaited demolition can’t come soon enough. Last week when the demolition crew stopped to check out the property, a part of the basement slid off the bluff.

For now, cables are helping to hold the home in place, and buoys are also in the water to catch any parts that may fall into the lake.

”They’ve been doing what they can in the meantime to protect Lake Michigan,” said Jason Peters, Assistant Administrator for the Village of Somers.

Peters says the demolition will take a couple of days, and it won’t be easy to do. The crew is waiting on a special equipment to come from Indiana. CBS 58 is told the shoreline is all private property, and there are no plans for the village to step in to fix deteriorating land.

”Given the length of our shoreline, the cost would be well beyond what our budgets would allow,” said Peters.

As for the 17th street property, Peters says the lot will probably sit vacant.  A village zoning code prevents any future builds right on the edge of the lake shore.

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