Big House Moved!

In the 19th c., before power lines, streetcar lines and other modern obstacles, people frequently moved houses.  On the East Coast, winter was the favored season for moves because the heavy loads could move easily across frozen roads and fields.

Moved house on cribbing. Photos look to the south.

Now, a Queen Anne family just completed moving a house on the hill.  When Nils Dickmann  heard that the house next door to his was to be demolished, he swung into action, offering to buy the house and move it onto his lot.  Fortunately, it was a short move.  Good luck also prevailed when it came to zoning, for the lot was already zoned ‘multifamily.’  Nils also recruited the Queen Anne Historical Society, Historic Seattle, and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation to press the developers to delay demolition and the start of construction until the house got moved.  They generously met the request.

Foreground: The lot where the big house once stood.

Two houses now sit on Nils’s lot.  The one on the alley sits high on cribbing.  It will be lowered onto its new foundation and pose graciously over a new garage whose foundation is yet to be poured.  It was constructed in 1907, or so the confusing side sewer records indicate.  Nils’s house on the front of the lot dates from 1927.

Rotated to face the alley with cribbing under the porch.

This is as close as a moved house gets to in-situ preservation.   A great piece of Queen Anne history is now preserved forever at 3232 14th Avenue West!