Designed by Miami architect Peter Vander Klout, the “UFO House” when finished, was declared hurricane proof as it could withstand winds as high as 300 mph. This is according to Henry Ruzakowski, son of Henry Ruzakowski senior, builder of the home.
With a love for flying, especially seaplanes, when senior Ruzakowski first saw the lot, he knew he wanted to build his home there. Located right on Snake Creek, this gave him a place to launch and land his Seabee.
To say the less, the home was unusual. In the middle of the home was a swimming pool about 10 feet deep, which enabled people to dive into the pool from the second floor of the home. But not only unusual, but it was also impractical. For instance, in order to go from the bedroom to the kitchen, you had to walk around the entire house to get there.
In 2012, a Bonita Spring company called the Thomas M Randgaard Trust bought the lot for $950,000. In October 2017, the house was demolished. Plans for the property are unknown at this time, but neighbors were eager to see it go. By this time, covered in graffiti, with an overgrown yard, it was just a place for young people to party and hang out.
Years of court battles for the Ruzakowskis
While the Ruzakowski enjoyed the launching and landing his plane there, several of the Venetian Shores residents were vocal regarding their opposition to it. Consequently, he battled the homeowner’s association in court for years.
At the time, younger Henry was 16 and many neighbors wondered why his parents would allow him to file the plane. In his mind and his parents, he was far safer flying the plane than speeding up and down the creek in a cigarette boat running over people.
The homeowner’s association in the 1980s spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting the Ruzakowskis. The Ruzokowskis, on the other hand, had someone else fighting the homeowner’s association for them. Once the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration designed the property a seaplane base, those agencies defended the family’s right to use their land to launch the plane. The designation remains today.
In order to appease the neighbors, the Ruzakowskis did stop taking off and landing on Snake Creek, and instead taxied the plane to and from the bay. Over time, the lawsuits eventually stopped.