ST. PAUL (AP) -- A landmark house is going condo -- and down the street.
The Armstrong-Quinlan House, a 10,000-square-foot duplex once used as a nursing home, will be relocated five blocks in a complicated, expensive move beginning Thursday. The 115-year-old house is the only Victorian-era home in downtown St. Paul.
The move will make room for new parking and bus facilities on the site of the house, across from the Xcel Energy Center. The house will be moved to a spot across from the Science Museum of Minnesota.
The city will pay about $2.4 million to move the house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Another $1 million or so in private funds is expected to be spent turning it into condominiums.
Planners expect the move to take eight days if the weather is good.
The house will be moved by Stubbs Building and House Movers of Orono and International Chimney Corp. of Buffalo, N.Y.
The companies have already mounted the house, which is 64 feet high and weighs 900 tons, on steel beams and 24 large dollies. Each dolly is about the size of a small car and can be operated independently.
The dollies will move the house at a top speed of 20 feet an hour. In the most complicated stages of the move, the house will make one 90-degree turn and descend a hill.
It will also travel one block along Seventh Street, one of St. Paul's busiest. Traffic lights, signs and lampposts are being moved on the street to make room for the house.
The house won't be moved onto Seventh until late Friday night, after crowds have cleared from a Minnesota Wild hockey game.
The Armstrong-Quinlan House is one of the heaviest structures ever moved in Minnesota. But it weighs only about a third as much as the Shubert Theater in Minneapolis, which was moved a few blocks in 1999.
Designed by pioneer St. Paul architect Edward P. Bassford, the house was built as a duplex in 1886 by John M. Armstrong, Minnesota's first territorial treasurer.
In the late 1940s, Bertha Quinlan bought the house and converted it to a nursing home.
In 1988, the state acquired the house and planned to use it for an arts school. But the school never materialized, and the house has been vacant since.
On the Net:
Updates on the move will be available at http://www.ci.stpaul.mn.us
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