When you have the right building in the wrong location

Reading Rotating the Indiana Bell building — IndyStar

So you have a building (nice for some!), you like the building, but you realise that you’ve put your building in the wrong place. It’s not a million miles from where you want it though, you could throw a stone from where it is to where you want it, so that’s nice. But it does weigh 11,000 tons (22 million pounds), (which I’ve been told is quite heavy). Oh, and it’s facing the wrong way.

What would Kurt Vonnegut do? I don’t know, but I can tell you what his father (also called Kurt Vonnegut) did, he lifted it up, moved it a bit, and then rotated it 90 degrees. A building.

It took 600 workers less than 30 days, in the winter of 1930, to do all this. And during the whole manoeuvre the building continued to operate as a telephone exchange.

Gas, electric heat, water and sewage were maintained to the building all during the move. The 600 workers entered and left the traveling structure using a sheltered passageway that moved with the building. The employees never felt the building move and telephone service went on without interruption. IndyStar

Or if you prefer video, see Moving the Indiana Bell Central Office by Telephone Collectors International, that has much more footage, photography, and commentary.

For another entry in the category of ‘right building, wrong location’ take a look at how a How a 7,000-Ton Broadway Theater Was Hoisted 30 Feet in the middle of Manhattan.

And finally (for now) an entry from San Francisco, The Journey of Commerce High: A Closer Look

View north on Van Ness toward Grove, Commerce High School (Newton J. Tharp Commercial School) being moved. The building was just completed at Grove and Polk when plans for the the new Civic Center were finalized. Rather than demolishing it, it was moved from the site to the northeast corner of Fell and Franklin, where it still stands in 2021.

If you know of any other similar sagas, please send them my way reply@silasjelley.com I’d love to hear about them.