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Lesson Of The Sand Palace

Here’s a good piece from the NYT about the Sand Palace, a beachfront house in Mexico Beach, Fla., that survived Hurricane Michael; all the neighboring houses were swept away. What made the difference? Read on:

Mr. King wouldn’t say how much he and Dr. Lackey spent to fortify the beachside home, which public records show has been assessed for tax purposes at a value of $400,000. Their architect, Charles A. Gaskin, said that building a house the way they did roughly doubles the cost per square foot, compared with ordinary building practices.


Dr. Lackey said he and Mr. King, who jointly own the Mexico Beach house, did not even refer to the minimum wind resistance required in Bay County. They built the sand palace to withstand 250 mile-an-hour winds.

The house was fashioned from poured concrete, reinforced by steel cables and rebar, with additional concrete bolstering the corners of the house. The space under the roof was minimized so that wind could not sneak in underneath and lift it off. The home’s elevation, on high pilings, was meant to keep it above the surge of seawater that usually accompanies powerful hurricanes.

“We’re thinking that we need to build a house that would survive for generations,” Dr. Lackey said.

“I believe the planet’s getting warmer and the storms are getting stronger,” said Mr. King, 68, an attorney. “We didn’t used to have storms like this. So people who live on the coast have to be ready for it.”

Read the whole thing. 

That house is a symbol of Benedict Option Christianity. It’s going to cost us a heck of a lot more, metaphorically speaking, to build a faith that can withstand the kinds of storms that are upon us in this post-Christian world. But what is the alternative? Look at the image above. There’s your answer.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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