North Portland

Historic house on the move to new home in North Portland

Historic house on the move to new home in North Portland
(Photo by Lincoln Graves, KATU News)

PORTLAND, Ore. – A historic house is on its way to its new home in North Portland.

Crews began moving the Edwin Rayworth house around 7:30 a.m.

The house is headed from Albina to the corner of Mississippi Avenue and Bryant Street, which is about two miles away. It almost made it to its new location Tuesday, but not quite. The house should be dropped into its new lot Wednesday morning.

"They don't see a house, a queen anne victorian, moving down their street every day," said Emmert International Residential Manager Pat Brady.

Kim and Roy Fox worked for months to save the house from destruction. The home is believed to have been built in 1890 by Edwin Rayworth, a painter.

"To see it jerk there at the beginning as it started to move, I was like oh my gosh, what's gonna happen with it," Roy Fox said.

Roscoe Hollis looked on with nostalgia.

"I lived here off and on in this house with my step father's mother in 1963," Hollis said. "I just think about the old times."

The house went through a series of owners before ending up in foreclosure in 2010. A local developer then bought it and made plans to tear it down and replace it with two homes. But once the neighborhood association heard about those plans, they started a campaign to save the house.

The developer set a fairly low bar for them. Fox and her husband bought the house for $1 and started looking for an empty lot.

Their biggest obstacle, they soon discovered, was coming up with a route to move the home. There were power lines and trees to consider. The couple ended up hiring Emmert International for the move and everything was falling into place, until just a few days before the move. At the 11th hour, the city revoked the permit and called a halt to the project.

The city said the permit was issued without a sign-off from the Department of Urban Forestry, which raised a red flag about the trees along the route.

In the end it all came together and the city said they learned some lessons during the process.

"That house can never be replicated," said Roy Fox. "You can build something new that tries to look old, but it's not, and you can never catch the history of this."