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“Move a herd of elephants”: History of San Francisco Wheeled Houses | San Francisco

HHundreds of San Francisco people lined up on the street on Sunday – the phone was pulled and ready – to get a glimpse A unique procession that slowly travels through the city.. “Please stand on the sidewalk, ladies and gentlemen,” exclaimed a police speaker. “There is a house coming down the street.”

Known as the English home, the two-story, 5,170-square-foot green Victorian era spans more than a century. San Francisco.. But for years, it was vacant and devastated, sandwiched behind a gas station and approaching a new apartment building. The city, which suffers from a housing shortage, was ready to build 48 buildings instead.

But instead of destroying the beautiful building, the team lifted it off the base, put it on wheels, and lifted it into a new house six blocks away. When a six-bedroom house was inching below 1mph, wooden trimmers, city workers, and excited observers participated in the parade through a narrow mistake with sharp turns and balconies and streetlight posts.

The English house has been moved to a new location about 6 blocks away. Photo: Noah Burger / AP
Carla Schreminger and Collina Chow take pictures in front of the house.
Carla Schreminger and Collina Chow take pictures in front of the house. Photo: Brittany Hosea-Small / Reuters

This move, which cost the owner Tim Brown about $ 400,000 (£ 280,000), has never been easier.It was the first time Victorian people had emigrated In about 50 yearsAccording to the San Francisco Historical Society – but it’s certainly not the first time. San Francisco has a long history of relocating buildings, often in the same dramatic way.

In the 1970s, 12 homes were relocated from the city's Western Addition.
In the 1970s, 12 homes were relocated from the city’s Western Addition. Dave Glass has documented the process. Photo: Dave glass

As far back as 1886, Samuel Clements is well known by his pseudonym Mark Twain. Recorded unlucky movements For the local newspaper, Daily Morning Call, as Andrew Chronicles of SFGate mentioned in an article about the history of moving late last year. “Last night, an old house was released from mooring and flowed down Sutter Street towards Montgomery,” the author writes.

At that time, horses had to lag. The crew used boards, ties, and oiled boards to slowly pull the house up the hills of San Francisco.Things seem like a difficult way to do, but Diane C Donovan Details of moving over the centuries In her book San Francisco Relocated, it turned out to be a fairly common practice. Some houses were even shipped to town before being carried across the town.

The city’s most famous, and perhaps greatest, movements took place in the 1970s when 12 Victorian homes escaped destruction during the Western Addition redevelopment program in San Francisco. Twenty years ago, the San Francisco redevelopment agency sought to wipe out the entire community and build new homes that would attract wealthy residents. The Western Additions district, home to mainly black and immigrant families, was to be demolished in what is now considered one of them. The most vicious act of gentrification.. In the end, more than 800 businesses were closed and 4,729 households had to leave their homes. Approximately 2,500 Victorian homes have been demolished.

Approximately 2,500 Victorian homes were demolished, but 12 were saved.
Approximately 2,500 Victorian homes were demolished, but 12 were saved. Photo: Dave glass
Workers signal a truck driver pulling a Victorian home through San Francisco on Sunday.
Workers signal a truck driver pulling an English home through San Francisco on Sunday. Photo: Noah Burger / AP

However, 12 were spared. As the public’s anger at the Victorian people being wiped out of the city grew, redevelopment agencies agreed to auction some homes and transport them from the area.

“It was like moving a huge herd of elephants, and at about the same speed,” said Carlo Middione, a former redevelopment agency employee, in a video about the experience. Release According to Found SF, a local historical organization. It took nearly a month to complete the project.

House raised from the ground
“People who lived nearby will open the windows and see a large Victorian house passing by,” Glass said. Photo: Dave glass

“It was a big sight,” he said. Dave glass, A photographer whose parents emigrated from Poland and raised him in Western Addition. When his childhood home was demolished, they moved to the Sunset District by the beach. A few years later, he recorded the relocation of the saved home. “People who lived nearby would open the windows and see a large Victorian house passing by. It was really something to see.”

According to Glass, the moving process hasn't changed much over the decades.
The English house passes through San Francisco. Photo: Noah Burger / AP
Worker in front of the house
The process hasn’t changed much, according to Glass. Photo: Dave glass

Glass also watched an English house move around the city last weekend. He said the process hasn’t changed much. But I think he has emotions. He lamented how the structure had not been evaluated in the last few decades. “People don’t care about Victorian homes,” he said, saying that thousands were destroyed, even though dozens were preserved. “Now they are highly regarded.”

Glass wants the San Francisco people to have enough pride and aesthetics to protect the Victorian people. Even if that means making a big move. “We have these tall and ornate Redwood buildings,” he said. “No one else has them.”



“Move a herd of elephants”: History of San Francisco Wheeled Houses | San Francisco

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