Out With The Inn: Cap'n Jack's Readied for Wrecking Ball

Crews have hauled away truckloads of furniture, bedding and household items, donated to area charities that provide shelter for those in need.


Crews have been pulling truckload after truckload of beds, dressers, lamps and everything else from Cap'n Jack's Waterfront Inn this week.

The everything else includes plaques on the wall, rugs on the floor and dishes in the sink.

New owners Bruce Paradise and Barry Turkanis, who will demolish the three Cap'n Jack's properties and build a high-end property with 15 condo units, have found a home for all the inn items, said Drew Crotty of Jemp-Marc Security, who has been organizing the massive clean-out.

Two truckloads of small beds and other small items are going to North Shore Veterans Counseling Services, Inc, an organization that has helped open a 30-unit shelter in Beverly for homeless veterans.

Everything else — from lamps and fixtures to washers and dryers and counter tops — is going to Centerboard of Lynn, Crotty said.

Centerboard owns multiple buildings in Lynn and its mission is creating opportunity for residents and businesses, according to its Facebook.

Crews from in Swampscott have been hauling loads from the inn since Tuesday.

On Thursday, in the inn's short seaside backyard, crews knocked down the poolhouse and hauled off the debris.

They also excavated the grounds in preparation for the demolition.

No date has been set for the demo, Crotty said.

Theplans to conduct training exercises at the property, he said.

The very back of the property includes a walkway along the sea and, below it, on the ocean rocks, remains part of a concrete deck.

Also at the sea's edge are remnants of a trestle that the original owner of Captain Jack's, Jack Miller, used to haul his houseboat in and out of the water, Crotty said.

The buildings' demolition got the green light months ahead of the demolition delay declared by the Swampscott Historical Commission.

On Tuesday commission members voted unanimously to lift the delay since it was clear the owners were not going to agree to preserve any parts of the buildings.  

The owners bought Cap'n Jack's Inn from David Rooney for $3.5 million.

sylvia belkin March 09, 2012 at 01:00 PM
If the loss of Captn Jacks seems to you lilke a loss to our entire community of Swampscott, let the Historical Commission know. In over 220 cities and towns of Massachusetts, Local Historic Districts have been established which bring money and prestige to those communities as well as increased commercial activity, generating far more in revenue and quality of life than ugly, oversized condos.. Look to our neighbors in Marblehead and Salem. It could NEVER happen there. This is a sad lesson for all of us, and the best that can come out of it is that it never happens again. Look at our beautiful town hall. Thirty years ago it was falling apart: the roof was leaking, gutters missing, wood trim in disrepair. Some people said, "Tear it down. It's not worth saving." But a handful of Swampscott citizens didn't believe that, and today we have one of the most magnificent, historic town halls in the country. Step up Swampscotters! Don't allow this rape of out precious past for money go on. Call members of the Commission (check our town website) and tell us you care.
Whisky March 09, 2012 at 02:13 PM
I agree town hall was worth saving. Still don't think Jack's is, though. Same with Greenwood Ave. It's just old (it was old when I went to high school there) and it's time to allow that property to become productive.
TAXPAYER March 09, 2012 at 07:05 PM
My God...you looney lefties...get real. Capt. Jack's is NOT historic. It is OLD and was no longer viable. Cheers to Paradise and Turkanis whose plan will bring TAX REVENUE to our town coffers. Everybody wins!
sylvia belkin March 09, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Captn Jacks was built in 1835 and is a beautiful example of Italianate-style architecture It is the last of the summer hotels that made Swampscott famous in the 19th century. Every summer, 10,000 and more people flocked to Swampscott and stayed at the New Ocean House, the Preston Hotel, Deer Cove Inn,Captn Jacks, and many, many more hostelries. It made Swampscott rich AND famous. So, it is both old and historic, "Taxpayer." Condos are not going to make Swampscott rich. The taxes that the Concordia! will bring in are really not much more than Captn Jacks brought in, because Mr. Rooney, the former owner, paid a commercial rate ($30.80) per thousand, as opposed to the residential rate of $16.60/thousand. We are the losers, "Taxpayer", because Captn Jacks which was a complement to the streetscape, is being replaced by a building that belongs on a three acre lot. But you will see that for yourself. Tax revenue is generated by people who might flock to Swampscott to eat at restaurants like Red Rock Bistro, walk along Humphrey Street and stop for an ice cream cone, visit an art gallery, etc. Captn Jacks will be missed, because we now have Zero places for visitors to stay in our town, because it looks like is has been here for a long time (it has), and because it generated revenue from out of town visitors. Proud to be a "Lefty Looney"
My thoughts March 10, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Your facts are wrong. The total taxes generated will be at least twice that of captain jacks. These where old buildings and not historic by any means. Time to move on maybe time for you to leave the historical board.
Citizen Swamp March 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Ms. Belkin, Just a guesstimate that the condo development will generate $80 to $90K in property tax revenue, $10k in water/sewer fees (tax), maybe 6K in excise taxes (owners will likely own cars/boats), and the residents will undoubtedly patronize establishments in town to generate sales tax revenues. I doubt the previous owner of Captain Jacks paid $96 to $106K in taxes/fees. If he did it's little wonder that the establishment was unable to survive with that as part of his overhead. You are right it would be great to have a lodging establishment in town, maybe the answer is to open up some areas in town to having a B&B as a permitted use, (if we don't already have). The revenue generated by this project and others planned in town will definitely be of help in spreading our onerous tax burden.
sylvia belkin March 11, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Dear "Wrecking Ball" and other Swampscott Citizens, David Rooney's bill for three Captn Jack's buildings, assessed valuation:$ 865,600; $690,700;$973,400 for a total of $2,529,700 generated $84,517 in tax revenue for the town (if indeed he paid the bill), And while I don't want to second guess Mr. Rooney, he knew he was buying expensive waterfront property for 3 hotels in 1995. Perhaps if he had marketed his property, he would have been successful. But I wont's cry for him. He left town with $3.5mil in his suitcase. Good for him. Bad for us. And as you yourself have pointed out, that's about what the Concordia! will generate in property taxes. Except, people who stay in hotels have to eat, and our restaurants benefit,; local bakery benefits, the coffee shops benefit. Guests buy gifts to send home, local galleries and shops benefit. People come to visit a community because it has beautiful beaches, great restaurants, shops, and an interesting downtown. It's been shown over and over again that hostelries such as Captn Jacks bring in REVENUE to shop owners, and that is desperately needed for proprietors in Swampscott and those of us who live here, as well as tax money. I welcome the chance to engage with Patch correspondents. Truly all of us care about our town. But I find it frustrating that many write using pseudonyms. Why?
My thoughts March 11, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Not knowing all the numbers. But simply the assessed value of the Concordia property will be well north of $10,000,000 and given swampscott with the highest residential rates in the North Shore of $16.60 per thousand, thats well north of $166,000 and likely 200k plus for the town annually -know your facts
todd flannery March 13, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Todd Flannery I think taking down capt jacks us a great thing. Will help the town with tax money , things change we need to move on let paradise construction do there job and it will come out ten times better then captains ever looked
visitor September 01, 2012 at 02:19 AM
hey! I was looking to stay there, and it took about 30 min. to find out why the phone is not working. but, indeed, what is $600 in rent for a 5 night stay? swampscott, who wants to stay there anyhow!
visitor September 01, 2012 at 02:20 AM
I'll stay in marblehead, which is nicer with nicer people.... and places to stay.
G. Winston April 01, 2013 at 05:02 PM
On a trip to visit Marblehead/Salem/Gloucester et al from St. Louis, MO., a friend recommended Cap'n Jack's, which made a charming base for 3 days. Enjoyed the local eateries, retail shopes, great nearby ice cream stand. Were it not for Cap'n Jack's, Swampscot would not have been on our radar. Sorry to see it go. Guess we'll go to the Cape next time.
sjorn April 22, 2013 at 06:25 AM
I spent a great week there in 2002 and will never forget David and the magic experience of Cap'n Jack's. I have been planning a trip to bring my kids back now that they are older. I knew exactly what rooms to ask for there :( I was wondering why I could not reach them by phone as well. This is truly heart breaking news.
Theresa Enke June 06, 2013 at 12:42 AM
I lived in Swampscott for 10 years. When family from out of town came to visit and my house was overflowing they would stay a Captn Jack's. A couple of times when my family visited, they stayed at the house and my husband and I stayed at Captn Jack's. I have been back a couple of times and loved it each time. It is a beautiful and peaceful place. I am sad to hear it is going to be no more. I will always have the wonderful memories of that great little town with the three guest houses set into a charming environment.


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