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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 mint-colored house with large windows and a brown front door was hauled onto giant dollies and hit the road in 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, built in 1882, was moved to a spot six blocks away. The vintage structure was rolled at a top speed of one mile per hour for 0.06 miles from 807 Franklin Street to 635 Fulton Street, its address changing after 139 years.

Obviously, moving the house so proved to be no easy task. At one point, workers had to untangle the corner of the two-story house from the light pole as it just made the turn and headed downhill along Franklin Street.

Many street elements were disturbed as the house made its slow journey. Parking meters were ripped up, traffic signs were relocated, utility lines were removed, and tree limbs were trimmed.

The move has been in the planning stages for years. San Francisco real estate broker Tim Brown, the homeowner, orchestrated the move to preserve the historic structure.

Its original plot in Franklin Street will be developed into a 48-unit, eight-story apartment building, while the transported Victorian home will be converted to seven residential units.

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

Phil Joy, a veteran house mover, said he had to secure permits from over 15 agencies in the city. Relocating the house down the street cost Brown 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 city has a long history of moving houses. Horses used to tug them down the street before lorries and vehicles took over. Englander House is the first to be moved in more than 50 years.

The massive move went viral online and made headlines as it was covered by several 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.”

“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. Needless to say, this project took great engineering and plenty of calculations to become a reality. Kudos to everyone involved!

Click on the video below to watch the move in action.

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