Though you may never expect to do so, situations arise that require the lifting or relocation of a structure. Hurricane damage and flooding, shifting earth, or even rezoning and development might prompt such a move, but when it comes to buildings that are important to a community’s history, doing so requires a lot of finesse and professionalism.
Consider the Situation
In general, moving historic buildings is a tricky business. Some of the integrity of the building is tied to what its place in time and geography is, so moving a building is generally one of the last steps taken in an attempt to preserve it. The procedure may demand particular approval from state and federal agencies, as well as the careful hand of a company with considerable experience and skill.
If you can outline the different facets of significance the building has, it will be easier to secure grants or other funding to help with the project. Also, keep in mind that moving the building will now become part of its history, so be prepared to carefully document the process.
Plan with Purpose
Once the historic building has been moved, what will its purpose be? Having a function in the community is an important part of keeping the building out of disrepair. Yes, paperwork may be involved, but keeping it important will help you maintain its status as a historic landmark, and therefore keep it relevant.
Handle With Care
Perhaps the most important thing is to hire the right crew of experts to do the actual moving. Not just any construction company can handle the lifting and gentle relocation of a historic building, so do the research you need to do in order to determine whether a company is fit to help with the project. Look for a team that is dedicated to precision, quality and performance. Be upfront with them about everything that needs special attention or care, and don’t be afraid to be present while they work.
Moving historic buildings can be a complicated process, but will help to preserve a legacy for generations to come.