CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — It took only two dollars and a dime for brothers Frank and Mario Crotti to acquire the historic Peavy House — $2.10 for its 210 N.W. 26th St. address.
But the brothers spent an estimated $70,000 to move the two-story dwelling to a new location.
Starting in the early morning, movers worked about nine hours to cart the 101-year-old, craftsman-style bungalow less than a half-mile to its new site at 112 N.W 30th St.
To make clearance for house with a footprint of 35-by-52 feet, workers took down utility lines and road signs and trimmed back trees.
The movers backed up a trailer with three sets of hydraulic wheels in triangular formation underneath the jacked-up house Sunday at 6 a.m. Parts of the house that had posed a threat of collapsing, such as the front porch, had been braced by 2-by-4 boards.
The structure made it down the curb without incident and then slowly turned south on Northwest 25th Street. As the truck inched along pulling a house behind it, a few children watched from nearby trees and other onlookers stood on the street and adjacent sidewalks.
"Oh my gosh, isn't that just bizarre?" John Corden asked with a chuckle as he looked up at the house in the middle of the street.
Corden, with his brother and their wives, bought the Peavy House property in September with intentions of building townhouses on the site. He knew the historic significance of the house whose original owner headed the forestry department in 1920 and who in 1934 was named president of what was then Oregon State College.
In fact, Corden's mother was, at one time, a personal nurse to George Wilcox Peavy.
"When we bought the property, we knew about Peavy and we did want to make sure the house went somewhere and didn't get knocked down," he said. "We had thought about different places it could go, including there was a property on 21st where a house had burned. When Frank called, it was just really good timing because we were in that process."
With precision, workers from Chris Schoap Building Movers used the hydraulic lifts Sunday morning to shift the house so that it could clear a power pole with only inches to spare. It wasn't long, though, before the eaves caught some tree branches. Pacific Power employees, who were on standby, entered with a cherry-picker and a chainsaw.
Frank Crotti circled the house nervously each time it became obstructed.
"It's very nerve-racking and we hope that from this point on there are less obstacles and a smoother ride," he said.
The house crossed Northwest Monroe Avenue — with more tree trimming needed — and then turned west on Oregon State University campus, moving through parking lots along Southwest Park Terrace Place and continuing on Northwest Orchard Avenue.
Workers cut part of an eave ever-so-slightly when the house had to squeeze between a tree and a power pole near Northwest 27th Street and Orchard Avenue.
"It's been a real effort to get this thing in place," Frank Crotti said at 3 in the afternoon as the house was being positioned to set down on its new lot. "It was a challenging move, but all-in-all it went well."
Many people were behind the success, Crotti said, but timing also had something to do with it. Crotti and his brother purchased the Northwest 30th Street property in January. A month or two later, Crotti heard that the Peavy House, less than a half-mile away, needed a new location. He got into contact with Corden in the early spring and they began to make plans.
"Everything just kind of clicked," Crotti said. "It seemed to all happen at one time."
The house will sit on timber cribbing and long steel I-beams until a foundation can be built with pockets to slip the beams out.
The Crotti brothers plan to restore and convert the Peavy House from a duplex back to its original state as a single-family dwelling. The house now sits in the College Hill West Historic District, a status that Crotti says will ensure the house is preserved for years to come.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press