“Scoot over, Vautravers Building.
“The 127-year-old Lake View structure on Monday started its very short trip to get out of the way of a Chicago Transit Authority track rebuilding project.
“The move 30 feet west and four feet south — as part of the CTA’s Red and Purple modernization — should wrap up by Tuesday.
“The move is necessary because when the Red Line tracks were built in the early 1900s, the owner of the three-story building refused to sell so the tracks were built around it. Red Line trains traveling between Belmont and Addison now must slow down around the bend that curves around the structure at 947 Newport Ave.
“Preservation Chicago pushed for the Vautravers Building to be landmarked as a part of the Newport Avenue District, a series of homes built between 1891 and 1928. Its landmark status protected the building from being demolished.
“‘Unfortunately, we don’t appreciate these buildings as we should,’ said Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago. ‘We should be using every tool possible to save these buildings as other cities do.’
“Contractor Walsh-Flour Design-Build Team removed the original foundation and placed the building on layers of beams, according to Stephen Specht, project manager at Walsh-Flour. After it is moved, it will be renovated. ‘The entire building gets tuckpointing, masonry repair and a new roof,’ said Specht. ‘All the historic copper bays get fully restored with … new copper cladding.’
“Though the neighborhood was excited for this rare event, moving well-known buildings out of the way of construction is not unprecedented in Chicago, according to Miller.
“Case in point: The Briggs House, a downtown hotel, was famously moved in 1857 while people were still inside.
“‘They had such a celebration that they filled The Briggs House with a party of 1,000 people, supposedly attending the event as the Briggs house was raised. So, we should all be inside, right?’ Miller joked Monday.
“While the entire endeavor to move the Vautravers Building is not cheap — Miller hopes these types of accommodations for preserving historic buildings happen more often, instead of the easier and cheaper option of demolishing the structures.
“‘The more of these we move out of harm’s away, the better,’ Miller said.” (Molina, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/2/21)
“Preservation Chicago Executive Director Ward Miller called it a victory.
“‘We’d like to see more buildings moved if that’s what it will take to retain them because we are a city of architecture and if we keep losing buildings like this in the future we’re gonna look like anyplace USA,’ Miller said.” (D’Onofrio, ABC News 7, Monday, 8/2/21)
Historic Lake View building moving westward — literally — so Red Line tracks can be straightened; The entire Vautravers Building will be moved about about 30 feet west and four feet south by the end of Tuesday, Nina Molina, Chicago Sun-Times, 8/2/21
WATCH CTA moving historic Lakeview building for work on Red and Purple Modernization Project, Jessica D’Onofrio, ABC News 7, Monday, 8/2/21