It was the little house that could. After two days of preparation, the historic Monti House in Issaquah was uprooted from its foundation and pulled 1,000 feet by trailer to its...
It was the little house that could.
After two days of preparation, the historic Monti House in Issaquah was uprooted from its foundation and pulled 1,000 feet by trailer to its new location. City officials say it was the first time a house had been moved here in 15 years.
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A crowd of onlookers clapped with relief as movers gently placed the house onto bulldozed land at 250 S.E. Andrews St. after its journey. Compassion House, a nonprofit that offers transitional housing and other aid to those in need, plans to remodel the home and turn it into a duplex by summer for families that need a temporary place to stay while getting their lives together, said the Rev. Mark Miller, founder of the program.
“We will help you get back on your feet in your own place,” he said. A private donor offered up the land on Andrews Street to Compassion House for the new site of the Monti House.
“We’re hoping to get the house livable as soon as possible,” Miller said.
The project — including costs to put in a new foundation, rewire the structure for utilities and refurbish the interior — will cost $70,000 to $75,000, Miller said.
“This is definitely the cheapest way to do it,” Miller said. “There’s no way to buy a home around here for that price.”
The city donated the house — which was built in the early 1900s and belonged to Louis Monti — to the nonprofit after realizing the property on which the house sat at 280 Rainier Blvd. S. was supposed to be used for open space under county conservation guidelines.
“We wanted to get it off the site,” said Al Erickson, city parks manager. Demolishing the three-bedroom Monti House would have cost the city $15,000, so officials earmarked that money toward its move, Erickson said.
“It was a better use of community funds to [preserve] it this way,” he said.
Dozens of curious bystanders turned up yesterday to see the home inch slowly down the street for an hour.
“It’s a neat house,” said Carolyn Sygitowicz, whose back yard abuts the Monti House’s former site. “It needs a little bit of work, but it seemed like a waste to tear it down.”
Others said they were impressed by the sturdiness of the house.
“You would think it would have cracked all to pieces,” said resident Dolores Luse, looking at the weathered exterior of the Monti House. “But it made it just fine.”
Sonia Krishnan: 206-515-5546 or firstname.lastname@example.org