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Most people get caught off-guard when they see a bicyclist riding on a main road, so one can imagine the surprise of some Kansas residents when they saw an enormous home traveling through their neighborhood.
According to KSN.com, the historic Betzen House in Wichita, KS was recently forced to relocate after a convenience store expanded onto its property. The 113-year-old Victorian-style home is no studio apartment, and the visual of a truck towing it through the streets was truly something to behold.
The Betzen House is a staple of the Wichita community and beloved by people all over Kansas. When a QuikTrip convenience store purchased the land that it has rested on for over a century, they decided to donate the home to the Historic Preservation Alliance of Wichita, which prompted the relocation.
There was no shortage of support to preserve the home, and the move was a group effort with help from the Wichita Police Department, Westar Energy, and a local tree-trimming company. Despite paying over $200,000 for the land, QuikTrip also wanted to pitch in a little more to ensure their expansion didn’t affect the home’s legacy.
“In addition to that, they were so gracious as to extend an additional $125,000 to pick it up, move it, buy a new lot, dig a basement, pour a foundation, all those kinds of things,” said Greg Kite, president of the Historic Preservation Alliance of Wichita.
While an estimated 45 million people move each year, it is quite rare for a home to relocate, let alone one that weighs a whopping 240,000 lb. After being attached to the truck, Wichita residents stood in awe of a 300,000 lb. impenetrable force meandering through their tiny town.
According to local Wichita news affiliate KWCH, the Betzen House moved from its original location at the corner of Murdock and Topeka to the 1200 block of North Emporia, which is about eight blocks away. As one might assume, this was not a speedy truck ride.
“I expect you can walk faster than it’s moving,” said general contractor Richard Roholoff. “It stretches little kids’ minds to see that you can put a house on wheels and move it.”
The house has already arrived at its new location, but experts suggested that it should rest for another day before it is placed on its new foundation. The Historic Preservation Alliance will be in charge of renovating the house after the relocation officially concludes.