Sunday, April 24, 2011

Change of Address

A few weeks ago, I was driving home from who knows where and came across this:

House chained to a truck with a sign for a moving company

A couple of neighbors were outside watching and I thought I would park for a minute and see what was going on. I figured it would be pretty cool to see a house get hoisted up on a truck or something like that. At first it looked as though this old yellow truck was going to be the carrier. I soon realized that was wrong. There was no way this old tow truck was going to hoist up and carry a house. There was another truck tethered to the house by a chain, but it looked like it was just the cab section of an 18wheeler with some kind of winch on the back. Was a bigger machine coming, I wondered?

The guys working the job stopped the trucks and were finding old pieces of plywood and board around the house, putting them down on the ground on the other side. What was going on? Whatever they were trying to do, it clearly wasn't working.


They fiddled and made adjustments. I started to think I wasn't going to get to see anything worth bragging to my kids about.


But then they changed their tack, moving Mr Old Yellow over to the other side and confirming Mr Blue Cab was ready to rumble.


At this point, one of the guys who seemed to be in charge walked my way and I stopped him to see where the house was going.

"It's not being moved anywhere," he told me. "It's just changing direction."

"On this same lot?" I asked. Basically, it was just a change of address. The house was currently 933 Herkimer; soon it would have a new address on 10th St.


"Interesting." I muttered. "It has something to do with the historic district," he told me, but he didn't know what or why. I don't know what or why either. I can figure only 2 possible scenarios.

1) 10th is the border to a historic district. By giving the house an address on 10th, the property owners are ensuring it doesn't get torn down.

or

2) 10th is outside of a historic district, but the 900 block of Herkimer is in a HD. Moving the house to have a 10th St address means the house can be demoed.

Can anyone think of any other reason for the property owners to move the house? Does anyone know the borders of the district? Considering that area of the Heights is far more new homes than old, I was surprised to think there was a Historic Designation over there at all.
In any case, they rearranged the trucks in to a formation that seemed to be working. Both trucks hit the gas, causing Yellow to smoke and Blue to loose his footing.



But the house did move, sliding on huge steel beams and random pieces of plywood...


Eventually landing here, 90 degrees from where it had sat for the last ~80 years.


In the middle of typing this post, I got up from my computer and drove over to 10th @ Herkimer. The house is still there, has new piers under it and an orange tag on the front door. I'm guessing whomever owns this house is trying to save it. I still don't know the answer about the Historic District and moving the house. I was wondering if I could find HCAD records for the owners, see if it was a business like Bungalow Revival, but then I realized... I don't know the new address.

6 comments:

  1. I'm glad they're saving the bungalow, but wouldn't it have been cheaper and easier just to change the front door?

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  2. Ha ha ha! I guess ;)

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  3. I once saw a house traveling on a truck down the street at midnight; it almost didn't fit the street, I guess that's why they did it late at night. But turning a house in its lot is something I've never heard of! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Looks like they have made room for another house on the lot, or for a garage?

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  5. The Heights LifeMay 9, 2011 at 9:43 PM

    Marcie,

    The lot is pretty big. There is even a (now) side yard- you can only sort of make it out in the picture but it's to the right of the house. They could add another house but it would be really weird from the back because of the houses on Herkimer. I'll be curious to see what, if anything, happens on this property.

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