Our House, in the Middle of the Street

Rear of house (northeastern side)
Rear of house (northeastern side)
The Clubhouse and my blue Übersu in the driveway

Back in 2006 when Chris and I were looking for houses, my mom suggested that we call about the house on the new St. Clare Hospital grounds (old Lakewood Golf Course) on Bowles Avenue.  So, I did and I actually got to meet the man in charge of the project.  He told me that if I could move the house, I could have it.  Wonderful!  Now, how on Earth does one move a 2-story stone home.  Very slowly, and with some costs.

It’s great to preserve a historic home, and it can be quite a deal (a steal money-wise and an ordeal to put together).  I decided to be my own general contractor – besides, how hard could this be?!  Wrong.  This became my full time job.  One must coordinate the house movers, the construction company working on the property where the home currently exists, Department of Transportation (road closing permit, large load permit, permitted roads to travel on, which electricians they will allow to move their stop lights and when they allow homes to be moved), electrician to move stop lights (get their rates for the approved day, which is usually a Sunday morning, meaning overtime on several electricians), electric company (to raise lines over house and re-route electricity on grid in case lines snap), phone company (to raise lines), cable company (to raise lines), gas company (to cap off existing gas lines and hook up new service at home), personal electrician (usually cheaper than DOT approved, and they can disconnect electrical and hook up on non-overtime days), excavator (dig basement and they may pour driveway and garage too), and finally (although the first thing one should do) get in contact with a bank offering construction loans.  Whew!  And to think, I had all this coordinated except I just didn’t have a piece of land big enough.  Usually the house movers would do this junk, but to save about $20,000, I opted to do the leg work.  In a matter of 2 months, I certainly learned a lot.  Quite a lot to type here, but if anyone wants more info, please let me know and I’d be glad to help.

Because of my love affair with this house, I cannot bring myself to let go of the pictures.   My favorite is above.  There are more in my flickr library.  The ‘Clubhouse’, as Chris and I call it, was torn down on November 6, 2006, one day before my 24th birthday.  When I drove by on my way home two days later, the dust was still settling.  I still hope to rebuild this home someday.