Move that House

I was flipping through a recent issue of Southern Living a few weeks ago (my mom gives me a subscription of this magazine since she knows I always devour it when I visit her house- I LOVE it) and starting reading an article about two houses in Florida moved from their original locations to new spots by their current owners.  The article was mostly about the logistics of moving a house and how these couples redesigned them in their new environments. The Before and After photos are impressive.

Reading more closely, I learned that one house was moved from a location in Florida which was slated to become a shopping center.  It is a cute, 1948 cottage and only moved 8 miles.  But one of the owners was the town architect of Seaside, Florida.  And they moved the house to Point Washington, Florida because they were “looking for something with more age and a little imperfection”.  I had to reread that sentence a few times in order to comprehend.  This couple moved a 65 year-old falling down house from one site to another in order to renovate and live in it, only to completely ignore the pseudo “vintage” town where one of them was Mayor?

Ummm, does that strike you as a little funny?  Hypocritical, even?  The town architect of Seaside doesn’t even want to live in one of the quaint, Seaside houses?  Wasn’t it designed to mimic these small, Florida town with their cottages and beach houses?  And not only does this couple not want to live in one of those houses, they are going to the trouble to move a house “with character” from one spot to another.  This seems like a gigantic #FAIL for Seaside to me.

(You know about Seaside, right?  It’s a New Urbanist development created in the 1980s by the architecture firm Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company and it’s been studied by architecture, history and planning students since then.  Many famous architects (Robert M. Stern, Machado and Silvetti Associates, Sam Mockbee, Steven Holl) have designed buildings there.  It’s where the movie The Truman Show was filmed.)

Apparently this lacks authenticity for the mayor.

I don’t know folks.  It leaves my mind spinning.

But I can’t dwell on it for too long.  We have our own house-hunting cross to bear.  And the idea of moving a house from one spot to another in order to get the house we want (in the school district we like, which, as parents, we are learning makes house-hunting very frustrating) sounds pretty good right about now.


2 thoughts on “Move that House

  1. I too read the house moving article and was impressed by the end results. Your added insight into the house movers themselves really adds an entire other layer to the story! I have to agree with the house movers though, there’s just something about old houses that can’t be replicated. R and I often daydream about taking our 1907 St. Louis house and transplanting it to a DC neighborhood. We loved that little old house.

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