Harriet F. Rees House Relocation in Chicago. Matt Thomas / Thornton Tomasetti.
The Harriet F. Rees House, originally built in 1888 and designed by architects Cobb & Frost, is a three-story residential property and a Chicago landmark on the National Register of Historic
Places. The house features a Romanesque Revival style and is located on historic Prairie Avenue on Chicago’s South Side.
Thornton Tomasetti provided project management services for the move of the house one block north, along with its coach house, from 2110 South Prairie Avenue to 2017 South Prairie
Avenue. In this role, Thornton Tomasetti was responsible for developing the project budget and schedule; assembling the project team, including the architects, engineers, construction
manager and house mover; and assisting in obtaining the approvals of various governmental agencies and individual stakeholders.
The two-story coach house, built pre-Chicago Fire and weighing about 200 tons, was lifted and moved down the street onto its new foundation in a matter of two days. New foundations were
then built under the coach house while it sat suspended above the new basement. The main house, which weighs 1,020 tons, was lifted onto 30 wheeled dollies and rolled down the street
past the new site. The house was then backed in and placed into position next to the coach house using hydraulic rams. This operation lasted nearly a week. The main house now sits on a
concrete mat foundation.
Challenges included having to fit the 25-foot-wide house onto a 28-foot-wide lot, which is smaller than its previous lot. Additionally, the move was delayed due to inclement weather.
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