The Princess Cottage, a 150-year-old home on New Jersey's Union Beach that became the symbol of Hurricane Sandy after the monster storm ripped it in half, was torn down in 15 minutes by bulldozers on Friday.
John Zois, who had lived in the home for six months before Sandy hit, had been hopeful that it could be saved. He had said that engineers told him the house was salvageable, and he was appealing to the public for donations to aid restoration of the historic home. But when that didn't prove fruitful -- and he couldn't afford the cost of saving the home himself -- the house had to be razed.
Howell Patch shot video of the teardown and interviewed Zois, who said he was sad to see the home come down but that he was glad its symbol helped get aid to the storm-damaged area.
"It's coming down today, but it stood," Zois told Howell Patch. "We're still here, and that's all I can say, really. It's time for it to come down, you know, and move forward and rebuild."
Speaking to the Asbury Park Press, Zois added: "To see my home away from home, which became my home, destroyed like this -- it's hard to take, it's just hard to take."
Sandy ripped out half of the home's first floor but left the majority of the second floor intact. Constantine Zois, John's father and owner of the Princess Cottage, said he had a feeling the house would have to come down, but "I was hoping against hope that I was dead wrong."
About 50 other property owners in the area have agreed to raze their damaged homes, the Asbury Park Press reported.
The Zois family said they plan to build another home on the site of the Princess Cottage, but it won't be an exact replica of their beloved home.