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Century-Old Victorian House Rolls to New Location at 1MPH the Wrong Way

Tiny houses have seen unprecedented coverage in recent months because they’ve also been experiencing a boom in popularity. This San Francisco house can also move like a tiny but there is nothing small about it.
Victorian house in San Francisco slowly rolls to its new location 3 photos
Victorian house in San Francisco slowly rolls to its new locationVictorian house in San Francisco slowly rolls to its new location
Its mobility is also a one-time-type of thing.

A 139-year-old Victorian house in San Francisco was moved to a new location, six blocks away, using steel rails, a tractor trailer, and two other trucks. The move happened at a speed of about 1 mph (1.6 kph), the wrong way on Franklin Street. According to San Francisco Chronicle, it was a most impressive feat that brought out a large group of onlookers and, more importantly, that required extensive planning and equally impressive costs.

The house, formerly situated at 807 Franklin St., now bears the address of 635 Fulton St., so that the lot left vacant will be used to build a new apartment building. Broker Tim Brown, who owns it, hired professional house mover Phil Joy to dig up the house, basement and all, and place it onto giant dollies so that it could be hauled away.

The whole thing is impressive, time-consuming, and expensive. Planning and applying (and getting) permits required $200,000, with another $200,000 pledged for the move itself. Traffic had to be stopped, parking had be to temporarily banned along the route, traffic signs and lights had to be removed, and branches and wires moved out of the way.

It seems like a whole lot of effort for a building that could’ve been torn down and replaced, but there is historical value to it. “Look at it. It’s historic. Original lumber. You cannot get lumber like that any more. Tight grain from 800-year-old trees. No knots. It’s a beautiful thing. Move a house, save a tree,” Joy tells the media outlet.

The moving itself was what you might call historic, considering few houses of this size hardly ever move around.


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