San Francisco

Guy Pays $400k To Have His $2.6M Victorian House Moved 7 Blocks In San Francisco

People move from their homes all the time, but have you ever tried moving your home? Well, in San Francisco, someone has done just that.

There are a lot of extra tasks that go into relocating to a new address: tons of packing, deciding what we take and throw away, and then finally putting everything back in place at the new home. But, it does come with the benefit of feeling like a brand new beginning in life. This time around, however, there was none of that hassle since an entire house was moved!

The San Francisco building was only moved several blocks to its new address. To put it simply, it was lifted up, wheels were inserted underneath, and then it was taken to its new location. Of course, it wasn’t as simple as that now was it?

The History Of The House In San Francisco

California’s San Francisco has a reputation for being the home of awesome architecture that range from modern, sleek homes to vintage houses dating back to the Victorian era. The house in question was one of the later ones.

Known as the Englander House, it got featured on newspaper outlets across the nation on February 23rd this year. The entire house was lifted and then carefully placed on top of a flatbed trailer. Then a dolly, completely remote-controlled, moved it a distance of 7 blocks.

The Englander House was originally constructed for Max Englander who ran a horse-hauling company with his son Aaron. Aaron resided in that house till 1920 when he died. The house is one of the only 4 that were designed and constructed by Wildrich Winterhalter, a German architect.

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The Englander House which was being moved from 807 Franklin Street to its new location at 635 Fulton Street in San Francisco.
Image Credit:  Avila Gonzalez | San Fransico Chronicle

Read: This Wild, Curvaceous Home Is Buried Beneath the Earth

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The San Francisco House Relocation Was A Feat

The architectural masterpiece from the Victorian era spans 5170 sq. ft. (approx. 480 m2). The house was built back in 1882, which makes it 139 years old. Of course, the truck transporting it had to be extra slow. Its average speed was a mere 1 mile per hour (1.6 kph) for the 0.6 miles (about 1 km) that it traveled. Its address was changed to 635 Fulton St. from 807 Franklin St. [1].

The relocation was far from being as easy as it sounds. The entire project is believed to have a price tag of about $400,000[2]. It also required the authorities to remove utility lines, parking meters, street lights, and carry out several other minor adjustments on the path. More than 15 separate permits had to be acquired before the move could be made.

The relocation started at the early hours of the morning in order to ensure the roads were as clear as possible while getting sufficient daylight for visibility. However, around 600 people were still present to witness the spectacle of the San Francisco house relocation

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Why Was The House Moved?

In 2013, Tim Brown, an investor, and broker of real estate had purchased the Englander House for $2.6 million. He had been planning to relocate the building for quite a while. The new address will make it easier for him to further develop the house.

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In its new location, Brown plans to turn the house into 7 residential units. At its past address, plans are in place to construct a new apartment building with 47 units.

But the move has left several wondering about the outrage and disturbance this project must have caused in the San Francisco neighborhood. Money had to be spent to make the streets suitable as well as causing quite a bit of congestion for the ones commuting on those streets. On the other side, there have been arguments that pointed out the positive aspects like better land development which, in turn, will bring money that will help the economy.

Read: Underwater Restaurant in Norway Has Been Completed and it Looks Out Of This World

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The Englander House which was being moved from 807 Franklin Street to its new location at 635 Fulton Street in San Francisco.
Image Credit: Douglas Zimmerman | San Fransico Gate

The Local Community Welcomed The Move

For the locals, the relocation was a joyous moment for many. They cheered on wholeheartedly with every inch that the remote-controlled dolly moved. The move not only saved a stunning piece of the city’s history but also made room for more housing units. The new address of the house is adjacent to a mortuary which will also be transformed to house 10 residential units.

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Brown had originally bought it with the intention of building condos on the empty lot adjacent to the house. But relocating the entire house made more sense eventually. Moreover, this is not the first time a house has been moved in San Francisco. Even if the last time it happened was over 45 years ago, giant houses used to be moved all the time even as far back as the late 1800s. Back then they only had horses to work with too.

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The more recent relocation, as such, has been hailed as a win for the Historical Society of San Francisco. A symbol of the city’s past was saved by taking a page from the city’s history. 

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Keep Reading: Amsterdam’s floating ‘masterpiece’ of 160 homes pushes the envelope.

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Sources

  1. A Victorian home was just moved in SF. Here’s how it looked..” SF Gate. Tessa McLean,. February 21, 2021.
  2. This timelapse shows a 139-year-old victorian home moving through San Francisco.” Design Boom
Mayukh Saha
Freelance Writer
Mayukh is a Content Marketer and Social Media Manager with over 5 years of experience in the industry. Mayukh believes in the power of content; how it can positively impact lives, scale businesses and touch people. In his spare time Mayukh likes to read about latest tech trends and loves to travel in the nature. You can reach him at [email protected]
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