Usually when you move it’s from one house to another, but Wednesday night, it was the house doing the moving.
The Samuel Green/Norden Hall Row House was built in 1894 at E. 7th and E. Locust Streets.
But since 2007 it’s been empty. It was scheduled to be torn down until a private developer stepped in to save it.
So late Wednesday night, 100 years of Des Moines’ history rolled through the East Village as the old home found a new one.
Developer Jake Christensen says the move was a group effort. ” The deadline to demolish it was coming at the end of March. So really a lot of people pulled together to make this happen.”
As a crowd looked on, the home was slowly moved from its current home at E. 7th and Locust to its new home at E. 4th and Grand, a total of four blocks.
Jane Buck said, “I am intrigued. I can’t believe this can happen.” Buck was just one of the dozens of people who lined the streets to watch the process from start to finish.
“I’m very interested in the history of Des Moines. I don’t want to lose it. I think it’s just fantastic when we have people who will step up and save our wonderful buildings here instead of having them demolished,” Buck said.
Alex Payne with the Des Moines Historical Society also watched he said, “It’s really special to be able to have a building this old being saved. Saved from the wrecking ball and not being torn down.”
After months of preparation and nearly two hours of inching through the East Village, the row house arrived at its new home.
Christensen says the moment gives him a sense of accomplishment and a little something else. “It’s really been hard. And we’re happy that it’s coming together. But I would also say a little relief.”
Christensen says he has designed the building to be a restaurant with potential office space on the top floor.