Moving Day! The House that was Sawn in Half and Shipped across the Bay

By

9th Apr, 2013

Sawn in half with a chainsaw, wheeled down the streets of San Francisco, stuck on a barge at Marina Green and moved across the bay to Belvedere– it’s safe to say it was no ordinary moving day for the Knowles-Moffitt Mansion on July 3rd, 1962.

Sawn in half, the Victorian mansion sits on a barge waiting for high tide to cross the bay.

This is the story of a historic house, saved from demolition by a local architect using some rather drastic measures. The Knowles-Moffitt Mansion, built in 1818 by architect William Knowles for Dr. Herbert C. Moffitt, renowned physician and dean of of the University College of San Francisco, was sentenced to the scrapyard in 1962, in favor of a a new apartment building to be erected in its place. Local architect and passionate preservationist, Norman Gilroy wasn’t going to let that happen.

He bought the 15-room home at 1888 Broadway and began hatching a plan that had never been tried or seen before. Nearly six decades after it was built, the 6,000 square foot Moffitt mansion was sawn in half with a chainsaw as neighbours looked on. Then with the help of utility companies and city officials that Mr. Gilroy had convinced to help him, the street’s overhead wires were moved to clear a path, and in what must have been an extraordinary site, the two halves were wheeled down the hill to the marina.

In a fast-developing area of San Francisco, Norman Gilroy succeeded in showing the city that preserving its old buildings was feasible by moving them. Once the house arrived across the bay to number 8 West Shore road in Belvedere, the ambitious architect used the original house plans and detail drawings to put the historic home back together and restore it to its turn-of-the-century glory. In 2009, it went on sale for $5.5 million.

And just in case you were curious, this is what replaced the Moffit mansion at 1888 Broadway…

Looks like it was Broadway’s loss…

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 via Curbed

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 

.

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in AbandonedNostalgia

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

WandawegaTreehouse-6219-634x800

The Twelve Cozy Cabins of Christmas

Grab some hot cocao, it's time to dream about the cosiest of cabins you could be curling up in over the twelve days of Christmas. Speaking of which, have you found your nearest and dearest the perfect...

Trending 7,902
2085324598_fc0da2fbc1_o

An Illustrated Guide to the Human Race circa. 1960s

The internet is a little bit like a maze of doors, some that lead to a spiralling descent of procrastination and some, though not many, can lead to forgotten treasure. Today I picked the winning doo...

Trending 6,763
chanel5

This DIY Gift Guide Rules: Cheap, Last Minute Ideas!

So it's that time of year again when magazines do their crappy annual gift guides, "guiding" you to buy $100 cashmere socks, $75 scented candles and generally the most mundane, over-priced gift ideas ...

Trending 33,782
xavi11

The Hidden Feast in a Barcelona Factory After Dark

We left the Barcelona night behind us, disappearing through a graffiti-covered door on a bustling back street of locals going about their downtown nocturnal hustle. All we have is this calling ca...

Trending 7,374