You have to get up pretty early in the morning to see a 121-year-old Victorian duplex moved across the road, and luckily for you, we do.
We arrived at First and Soto Streets to find the crew from Brandt House & Building Movers staging the dirt in front of the house and prepping plywood panels to protect the sidewalk and asphalt. On the other side of the street, the vacant Metro-owned lot stood ready for its precious cargo, a pair of blooming Jacaranda trees jussssst far enough apart that the house would be able to squeeze between them.
A crowd gathered, curious to see what moving a house was all about. Among them, a precocious six-year-old named Michael who adamantly insisted that Victorian houses were old and ugly. Nevertheless, he was eager to spend his birthday morning watching this one start its new life.
We’re still giddy about our historic preservation campaign succeeding in just 13 hours, and so pleased that ELACC graciously agreed to preserve, restore and transform the Peabody-Werden house into a community center. We hope the happy conclusion of this home’s story will inspire other people to ask for a preservation solution when redevelopment projects put historic places at risk. Houses can be moved. Old things matter. And you can’t win unless you try.
We were able to capture most of the house move on cell phone video, until a phone call from a reporter inadvertently cut off the recording. Brandt’s crew made quick work of it, and we think you’ll find the process interesting. Here’s to the next 121 years, and all the good work done today.