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8 Historical Buildings That Have Been Relocated and Moved Successfully

Some structures are modeled to last a lifetime, for example, the Great Pyramids of Giza. Those that fail in the design can be rescued through complicated engineering measures and a relocation. Around the world, there are numerous buildings that have been lifted from their foundation level in one piece or pieces and relocated or rebuilt. This ensures that their legacy continues to live in a safer place. Some of the historical buildings include;

The Temple of Dendur, New York, NY

The temple was initially built in Egypt, and was commissioned by the first Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. It was completed in 10 BC. It was at risk of flooding during the construction of the Aswan High Dam and the creation of Lake Nasser in the 1960s.

An international campaign was initiated by UNESCO to rescue the monuments of Nubia in 1960. With the lake threatening to submerge 2000 square miles of historical lands, numerous countries acted fast to safeguard as many artifacts as they could. To reward the United States for the huge part it played during the rescue, Egypt offered the Temple of Dendur.

President Lyndon Johnson then gave the temple to the Metropolitan Museum of art.

Dismantled in Egypt, the small stone temple had 642 pieces in total, and they were then transported to the US on the SS Concordia star. Upon reaching the United States, the flatbed trucks ferried the fragments from the port to the museum on Fifth Avenue. When the blocks were unpacked, some were found to be incorrectly numbered while some not numbered at all. The New York Times reported that some section drawings still exist but are currently in France. Regardless, a group of stone cutters, masons, museum curators, and carvers were able to reassemble the temple in the custom-built Sackler Wing.

London Bridge, Lake Havasu City, Arizona

London Bridge was falling into pieces in the mid-20th century. The applied weight by modern vehicles was threatening to push the Georgian-era bridge into River Thames. The granite structure was auctioned in 1968 to pave the way for a modern bridge.

The founder of the resort community of Lake Havasu City in Arizona, Mr. Robert McCulloch, was the winning bidder. He was willing to purchase the British Landmark for $2.46 million. He was convinced that reinstalling the bridge in the planned development would attract many tourists.

The bridge was carefully set apart in a stone by stone process, each being numbered and then correctively shipped to the US through the Panama Canal to California. They used Trucks to transport the parts of the bridge from the Long Beach port to Arizona. Once they reached the desired location, they were reassembled following the original plan.

Belle Tout Lighthouse, Beachy Head, UK

Belle Tout Lighthouse was initially built in 1832, and it was knowingly set 100 feet from the edge of the cliff during construction. This was in Beachy Head, England. When the lighthouse view from the sea disappeared, the ships would automatically know they were in the high seas. It was decommissioned in 1902 after cliff erosion rendered it ineffective. The buyer used the lighthouse as a private home. In 1999, owners saw the need for it to move back by 56 feet. Engineers dug underneath the 900-ton building, and in one piece, lifted it onto four concrete beams. It was then slowly slid it to its present position. If the rate of erosion continues, the lighthouse will need to be moved once more in about 30 years.

Cook’s Cottage, Melbourne, Austrilia

James Cook spent most of his time between adventures at home in Yorkshire, where he was born. Cook had numerous famous achievements under his name, like being the first European mariner to cross Antarctic circle. He had a small cottage in Great Ayton built by his parents. An industrialist by the name Sir Rusell Grimwade purchased the house once it went up for sale in 1933 for 800 Euros. He then donated it to the Victoria estate, Australia, in recognition of Cook’s exploration of the continent and also for remembrance of the centennial of Melbourne.

The house was dismantled and packed into close to 300 crates and barrels, and aboard port Dunedin, it was shipped to Australia with some of the ivies that had grown up on its walls. It currently stands at Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens, where it was rebuilt.

Hamilton Grange, NYC

According to reports, Alexander Hamilton only owned one house in his entire life. This was Hamilton Grange in New York City. The large airy house was built on a 32 acre-land located in Manhattan’s uptown countryside, currently called Harlem.

It was sold in 1833 by Hamilton’s widow, and the city developed around it.

The building was shifted in 1889 for the first time by the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, who were the owners. They moved it 250 feet north closer to the church to avoid demolition by the constructors of 143rd street, which was to run straight through it.

The grange was then acquired by the National Park Service (NPS) in 1962, and they decided to move it again in 2008. The house needed urgent renovations due to its considerable deterioration levels. However, it was determined that full repairs would be impossible since new buildings had sprouted around it. The NPS agreed to move it to part of the land that Hamilton once owned. This was a few blocks away near St. Nicholas Park, where it could be fully restored. They jacked up the 200-ton structure, attached its foundation to steel beams, carefully hoisted it 38 feet up on hydraulic lifts to avoid a porch of another building, and then it was rolled onto a system of dollies that drove the house to its new site.

Newark Liberty International Airport Building 51, New Jersey

Built-in 1935, Building 51 was among the most luxurious, state-of-the-art terminals in the world for passengers. From the 1950s, new terminals began to be opened through to the 80s, which forced Building 51 to be converted into office space, eventually facing demolition in a bid to expand a runway project.

New Jersey State Historic Prevention Office granted permission to the port authorities of New York and New Jersey to relocate the structure.

Using concrete-cutting-machinery, they sliced the building into three pieces. Each section was hoisted at a time using hydraulic lifts, which then placed them onto dollies supported by 1407 truck tires. It was then rolled to its new location, a three-quarter of a mile away.

It currently holds administrative offices and was renamed building one. It also contains an Art Deco Lobby and a room showing the history of the building.

Abu Simbel Temples In Egypt

Abu Simbel Temples like the temple of Dendur were at risk of flooding from the construction of Aswan High Dam. Preservationists disassembled the temples and shifted them to higher grounds, to avoid having them submerged by the Lake Nasser’s rising waters. Engineers drilled down from the cliff’s top, carved them into 20-ton blocks, and piece by piece moved them to a 200-foot-high artificial hill, made above their original location. This was also a part of UNESCO’s campaign to rescue the monuments of Nubia.

St. Bernard de Clairvaux cloister/ The ancient Spanish monastery, Miami.

Media maestro William Randolph Hearst disbursed teams in the 1920s across the European continent to purchase artwork with an aim to put them in his castle in California. He acquired various artifacts. One of them is a 12th-century Spanish cloister, which he dismantled with the help of his workers. They were then packed into 11,000 crates and sent on a ship to New York.

The crates were, however, impounded upon reaching the port. The boxes were left in one of Hearst’s warehouses after the custom agents suspected the presence of contaminated hay used to pad the crates. Before the grass was burned and pieces of the cloister declared safe for transport, the stock market had already crashed, resulting in Hearst losing all of his money. The cloister pieces were acquired by two Florida men one year after Hearst’s death. They used them to rebuild the cloister in Miami to attract tourists. It failed to attract visitors, and it was later donated to a local parish.

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