In San Francisco, California, 19th century Victorian homes are part of what makes the city’s visual landscape so unique. Since so many of them were destroyed in the great Earthquake and fire of 1906, those that remain are like precious jewels that have to be preserved at all costs. So if a new apartment building is set to go up where one currently is, well….you don’t knock it down. You just pick it up and move it!
Thanks to SF Gate (via Boing Boing), we learned that’s exactly what happened in San Francisco recently. A nearly 140-year-old Victorian home known as the Englander House wound up jacked onto a hydraulic dolly. For a whopping six hours, it rolled down seven city blocks to its new location. The final price tag for all of this came in at $400,000. It created quite the site to behold as it travelled down busy streets, like something out of a movie. Residents came out in droves to watch this all unfold.
It takes a lot to make something like this possible. This includes the removal of parking meters, street lights, and power lines, all to get out of the house’s way. Several trees needed cutting back as well. As rare a sight as this is to see these days, moving Victorian houses like this was once quite common. But this is the first time it’s happened in the city in 45 years.
The rather large 75-foot wide lot where the 19th century home once stood will now become the site of a new 47-unit apartment complex. The owner plans to fully restore the house, and turn it into a multi-unit rental property. The Englander House finds new life, ironically enough, next to a mortuary. If you’re in the city and want to check out this historic home in its new location, it can be found at 635 Fulton Street in San Francisco.