Moving a Mansion
18. November 2014
The 19th-century, 3-story Harriet F. Rees House on Chicago's South Side was moved one block over the course of two days in mid-November to make way for the McCormick Place Events Center.
Since 1888 the mansion, designed by Henry Ives Cobb and Charles Sumner Frost, sat at 2110 South Prairie Avenue, a once affluent and fashionable stretch of Chicago that has seen the McCormick Place convention center expand numerous times toward it. The 600-foot (182-meter) move will allow McPier (the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority) to construct a 10,000-seat stadium designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects.
The move of the three-story, 1,000-ton brick-and-limestone building (reportedly the heaviest residential structure moved in the United States) was an amazing feat that involved cutting the house from its foundation and lifting it onto 32 dollies mounted on 232 tires. From there it moved at the pace of about 6 inches (15 cm) per second, delayed by some rain on the first day of its move. Thankfully, a Chicagoan created a time lapse of the move that speeds it up from two days to less than two minutes: