Historic Victorian home moved in process that San Francisco hasn't seen in 47 years

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Monday, February 22, 2021
Historic SF Victorian home moves to new location
A historic Victorian home in San Francisco known as the Englander House moves to a new location in the city.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A relic of San Francisco's past moved to a new location on Sunday and you can see it made for quite a sight.

A 141-year-old Victorian home was picked up and moved six blocks from Franklin Street to Fulton Street.

"This is phenomenal to see this humungous seven-bedroom house being moved," said Wanda Ramos who lives near the home's original location.

Gary Carter lives near the new location and echoed those same thoughts. "This is pretty big, pretty amazing," said Carter.

Sebastian Luke was one of the many who watched the entire move simply saying, "It's a beautiful building."

And that beautiful historic building quickly took San Francisco and the internet by storm. Every angle being recorded by the hundreds of San Franciscans, many of whom compared it to the animated Pixar movie Up where a home was moved by balloons.

This home, known as the Englander House, was towed six blocks. Six blocks in around six hours.

"There's been a few glitches on the way. Trees that were in the way, stops signs, lights, and signs and what not," said Lana Costantini with the San Francisco Historical Society

"They hit a light pole right there at the corner of Golden Gate and Franklin and also they hit a couple trees," said Eddie Ramos who closely watched the move.

But no worries because tree cutters were in place, streets were closed, and police were there to lead the way, even if things didn't always look so perfect, and even as crews worked into the nighttime hours.

"I was scared when they were trying to turn on Golden Gate Street. I was surprised, I was like there's no way but they got it through," said Saron Eyob who lives nearby.

The historical society says this is the first time since 1974 that a Victorian home like this has been moved in San Francisco.

Giant dollies are carrying it at about one mile an hour and it came at a cost of $400,000 dollars. More than a dozen city agencies agreed to the relocation.

The Englander House will be turned into single family units. A former mortuary next door and the old lot will also be transformed into housing. Between 50 and 60 new units will eventually be available because of the move, along with of course, the historic home being restored and saved.

RELATED: Historic San Francisco Victorian home to be moved blocks away, converted into apartments

"I was up on the 11th floor at the time looking down and I just could not believe what was going down, I thought this is one for the history books," said Eddie Ramos.

The move was no easy task. Power lines, parking meters and street lights were removed for the move. and Muni had to re-route some bus lines

The six-bedroom, three-bath home still has the original lumber and "anchor bolts" from the 19th century.

The mover says homes like these are worth preserving instead of demolishing.