CHICAGO (CBS) — A late 19th century home on Prairie Avenue has begun its two-day move to a new lot a block north, to make way for the new DePaul University basketball arena just north of McCormick Place.
The Harriet F. Rees House, built in 1888, moved almost imperceptibly atop an array of huge automated dollies, crawling to its new location about a block north from where it has stood for nearly 130 years at 2110 S. Prairie Av.
“The dining room tables, with its chairs, is in the dining room right now,” said Peter Kuhn, senior project manager at Bulley & Andrews, LLC, which is helping coordinate the move. “It’s up on a series of 29 dollies, which each has eight wheels, for a total of 232 wheels underneath the house.”
The three-story brick house measures 95 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 72 feet tall. Weighing more than 1,000 tons – including the moving equipment – the house is one of the heaviest to be moved intact in U.S. history.
When it was built, the house sat in a neighborhood where the city’s biggest movers and shakers lived.
“It’s one of only seven out of 90 homes that would have lined the street. Mrs. Rees, who built the house, her neighbors would have included Marshall Field, Philip Armour, George Pullman,” said William Tyre, curator of the Glessner House Museum, another historic home a few blocks away on Prairie Avenue.