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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Quick House Demolition

Region 5, May 30, 2019
Quick House before demolition
Quick House before demolition - Photo Credit: n/a
Quick Property after demolition and installation of cap
Quick Property after demolition and installation of cap - Photo Credit: n/a

Finally! The dilapidated eyesore known as the “Quick house”, once located near the Great Swamp NWR Wildlife Observation Center, is gone. In context of numerous demolition projects previously completed, the “Quick house” stood out the longest. It did so because it was treated differently than other excess structures in the Swamp. This led many visitors and volunteers to ask why. The answer being the land surrounding the house was one of the remaining vestiges of a time when asbestos waste from a nearby plant was used to fill wetlands. The Quick house was surrounded by this fill, a health and safety concern for workers that might disturb soils during a conventional demolition project. After several attempts, funding was awarded via the Refuge Cleanup Program and in addition to staff time and refuge resources the property was remediated and the house safely razed. The area was graded, geotextile fabric installed, capped with clean top soil and seeded with native grasses.

Contact Info: George Molnar, (973) 425-1222 ext 163, george_molnar@fws.gov