Landmark log cabin razed

Matt DeYoung • Oct 13, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Builder Ryan Livingston said he received quite a few shocked, and even dirty, looks Friday morning as his crew demolished the landmark log cabin at 10 Grand Ave. in Grand Haven.

“A few people have driven by and given me thumbs up,” he said, “but I’ve also got some nasty looks.”

The home is owned by Bob and Kim Schermer of Grand Rapids. They purchased it in November 2017. 

“We actually were going to remodel it when we purchased it because it only has two bedrooms, and we needed more space,” Kim said as she watched an excavator rip down the north-facing wall of the house. “We started drawing some architectural plans, trying to figure out what we were going to do, and we discovered it just wasn’t going to work to remodel it because of the structure of the log cabin. So we decided to tear it down and build a new one.”

It’s not difficult to see what attracted the Schermers to purchase the home. 

“Just look at the view,” Kim said. “It’s a million-dollar view. It’s actually a great location because we wanted something that wasn’t right in town but still had great access to town. It’s perfect.

“The view is spectacular and the sunsets are right in front of the house,” she added. “It’s a special, special spot. It’ll be totally different — something that fits this area better.”

Kim said she’s heard both positive and negative comments from her neighbors. 

“We’ve heard, ‘You’re tearing down the log cabin? I can’t believe it,’” she said. “Most people think it’s historical and it’s been here forever, but it’s only been here since 1985. Still, people recognize it as they drive by.”

Livingston said that, because the lot lies within the Highland Park neighborhood, there are certain rules that must be followed. Construction couldn’t start until after Labor Day and must be completed prior to Memorial Day weekend.

“Kim came to me and wanted to talk about remodeling it because she didn’t like the logs,” Livingston said. “By the time we looked at the process of covering it all and fixing it that way, we came to the conclusion that it’s not a cost-effective way to do what she wanted to do, so the next step is to design a new home using the existing foundation. Now we’re on to demolition and a new house.”

The new house will have a lot of windows and rooftop decks, Livingston said.

“This one had no windows facing the lake,” he explained. “We’ve utilized multiple decks (and) multiple heights of decks that will maximize their view and their living space. It’s not much bigger, but different — a more modern style.”





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