Man pays $400K to move 139-year-old Victorian style house seven blocks to its new location

A man in San Francisco took the term “moving house” literally when a Victorian style house he owns in the city was transferred seven blocks to its new location.

The house, which was mint-colored with large windows and a brown door, was loaded onto giant dollies and driven to San Francisco. The move started around 6:15 in the morning, but the early rush hour didn’t stop 600 onlookers from going out to witness the never-before-seen spectacle.

The Englander house, which was built in 1882, was moved six blocks away. The historic structure was rolled at a speed of one mile an hour for 0.06 miles between 807 Franklin Street and 635 Fulton Street. Its address changed after 139 years.

The Englander House being moved to its new location

Moving the house proved to be difficult. Workers had to remove the corner of the two-story house that was just turning left onto Franklin Street from the light pole.

During the slow journey of the house, many street elements were damaged. Parking meters were dismantled, traffic signs moved, utility lines were removed and tree limbs trimmed.

The Englander House being moved to its new location

The move was in the planning stages since years. Tim Brown, a San Francisco realty broker, organized the move to preserve the historic structure.

The original plot on Franklin Street will become an apartment building of 48 units, eight stories high, and the Victorian home that was transported will be converted to seven residential apartments.

Brown paid $2.6 Million for the 5,170-square feet Victorian-style house back in 2013.

Phil Joy, an experienced house-mover, said that he had required permits from over 15 agencies within the city. Brown spent approximately $400,000.

“These houses are part of the fabric of San Francisco,” said Fiona McDougall, a member of the Victorian Alliance of San Francisco. “It’s important to preserve them rather than replacing them with a bunch of cold boxes.”

The Englander House being moved to its new location

The city has a long history in moving houses. Before the advent of lorries, horses pulled them down the street. Englander House was moved for the first time in over 50 years.

The huge move went viral online, and it was covered by numerous news outlets. Others joked about how they should have just used balloons, a reference to the Disney movie “Up.”

Here are some of the netizens’ hilarious reactions to the story.

“I wonder what the ghosts are thinking.”

“Crimes so bad in San Francisco they’re stealing buildings now.”

The Englander House being moved to its new location

“So they basically took the Patrick Star approach.”

“I would be pissed if I were trying to get to work on time.”

“House prolly couldn’t afford the rent and had to downgrade.”

It’s incredible to see how the workers moved the Victorian style house from one location to another. It was a complex project that required great engineering and many calculations. Kudos to everyone involved!

Click on the video to see the move in action.

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