Historic home wheeled to nearby vacant lot; re-located to make room for Electric Works construction

Specialists moved two historic homes out of the footprint of the Fort Wayne Electric Works...
Specialists moved two historic homes out of the footprint of the Fort Wayne Electric Works project(WPTA)
Updated: Nov. 2, 2021 at 12:36 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - Moving a house from one place to another is something that rarely happens.

But Tuesday, in the West Central Neighborhood, a home with some historic value was pulled up out of the ground and wheeled to a vacant lot nearby, making room for an important part of the Electric Works development.

A company out of Ohio used several days to prepare for the house re-location.

The crew drove jackhammer holes in the foundation of the house near the intersection of Jackson and Lavina Streets, inserted steel beams, then jacked it up and essentially put the structure on “skates” to lift it off the foundation and on to a dolly to move the home about 30 yards to the north.

The crews doing the job Tuesday afternoon were preparing to reverse the steps, positioning the residence over a hole that will serve as the basement for the new location.

RTM Ventures, the developers for Electric Works, needs to clear out about nine properties, but the company is salvaging two of the homes with perceived historic value.

“There are a number of homes that had to get displaced. And we wanted to make sure that we were going to try to save as many as we could to knit back into the fabric of the community, some of these historic homes,” said Kevan Biggs with RTM Ventures.

Down the street, Kim McDonald watched the house moving as it slowly unfolded. About four years ago, she and her husband bought a condemned home at the corner of Jackson and Lavina and fully renovated it, in anticipation of the future opening of Electric Works and the attractions that will come with it.

“We’re excited. We’re ready for them to get going and get open. That’s what we want,” McDonald said.

A parking garage and new apartment units will be built as part of phase two of Electric Works.

The garage is supposed to open next fall, while the apartments should be finished in 2023.

Phase one, which involves renovation of the old General Electric campus on Broadway, will include a new world headquarters for Do it Best Corporation, a year-round farmer’s market and other uses.

That renovated campus is expected to welcome in new tenants and visitors in late 2022.

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