The good folks at Preservation Nation (part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation) posted a fascinating article on their blog about moving houses! As an unabashed lover of old homes and also an environmentalist (sssshhh), I have always been enamored with this concept.
House moving can be a contentious subject in the preservation community. Why? Because context is such an important part of the significance and stories of old and historic places. Take a house out of that context and you risk a sort of theme park-ification of the place. And yet, moving a house can also be practical.
What about when homes are threatened by demolition? Or if moving a home to a new homesite is less expensive than other options? Should we count the wins of house moving ahead of the losses? The New York Times explores the way house moving is becoming more popular across the country:
Jennifer Davis, 38, a mediator in Everett, Wash., and her husband, Craig, a policeman, also 38, bought a 1,500-square-foot cottage in 2008 as a vacation home for a quarter-acre they owned on Hat Island.
Despite the obstacles, the damage caused by the move was limited to a few easy-to-repair hairline cracks. And Ms. Davis estimates that they saved about 40 percent of what it would have cost to build a house.
But the best part, she said, is “it’s a 1950s rambler with all kinds of details, like scalloped trim in the kitchen and a wonderful pink bathroom, that you don’t find in new construction.”
And “we saved it from a landfill.”