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Visitor Questions

 

 

Over the time  Romanesque I  has been available, site visitors have asked questions.  Below is a synopsis of questions and our replies.  The answers may seem a little repetitive, but are our responses to the question asked at the time.

Question:   What are the fundamental economics of ReLocating mansions ?

Answer:  We are only interested in completely moving magnificent gilded age stone buildings.  Buildings whose value will increase 20-40 times by relocation to beautiful sites in suitable vibrant communities.  The original building has to have been a mansion in the 19th century to be worth moving.    We disassemble and deliver a house for between $ 250 and $ 400 per sqft.  High end reconstruction with architects and top construction firms often build ultra houses between $ 700 and $ 1,500 per sqft.  We deliver all of the material to reconstruct the original building, so the expenditures on the reconstructed house are for interior, high end features, extra additions, and the site.   This means that buyers could easily spend $ 400 and more per sqft to reconstruct and still be less expensive than the ultra modern McMansion.  We create a great deal for the buyers, the sellers, the doers, and the public.

We bring professional architectural and engineering professionals togerther to deliver to the buyer a modern authentic reincarnation of beautiful historic American castles. We gather together trained, experienced people with expertise and passion for saving these magnificent structures. Prices suggested for each castle are the expected costs for documentation, disassembling, shipping, and supporting reconstruction by the buyer's professionals. All of the firms involved will participate in the selection of subcontractors and analysis of the ultimate costs of the project. With the exception of the cost of the new site itself, we would expect the reconstructed cost of the building to be less than twice the cost of delivering the components to the buyer's site, so the reconstructed cost of these mansions should be around $ 5 million.

Question:   Does the price include reassembly ?

Answer: Reassembly has to be done by the buyer’s architect and local construction firms to modern construction standards. We cannot predict what gold bathtubs the new owners might want, and the interior layout could be very different than AS-IS. However, all the details and materials of the shell of the house and interior components that are laser scanned and saved are preserved.

Question:  Is it hard to find an architect firm that can reassemble the building using the system your company does?

Answer:  No … The architect needs to use industry standard software .. AutoCAD, Revit, BIM and other packages. We have a list of 30,000 architectural firms nationwide that can do this work, and can refer you to several in your area that can handle .. and would be most glad to handle it.  The architect works for the buyer.  The entire effort to move this house will be done under the professional guidance of the rebuilt house owner's architects and local construction professionals. What you get from us is all of the material used to rebuild the mansion, with every stone , beam, joist, 2/4, etc. identified where it needs to go, with the dimensions of all exterior and interior surfaces defined by Laser Scanning to the nearest 1/7th inch. RFID tags are applied to every stick and stone.  Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and locating tags attached to objects.  These are the tiny tags you see attached to items in stores.  Each house moved will be several thousand individual pieces.  Detailed inventory item control is crucial to reconstruction.  This house will contain about 8,000 individual components. We are heavily computerized, so it comes with Terabytes of data, thousands of photographs, video tapes ... everything we can do. 

 

The buyer is responsible for the cost of reconstruction, as this is a matter of taste and meeting local construction and municipal code standards … that is why local architects and construction firms are necessary .. mandatory.  95 % of the materials required for reconstruction is included in our delivered price, the cost of materials for the reconstructed house will be far less than built from scratch with new materials. Many of the components of the house are unique, and cannot be reproduced with modern materials. Houses constructed in this manner will be environmentally superior, and qualify for US Green Building Council’s superior LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).  

 

There will be substantial work for the buyer's architects at both the current location and future site.  ResErections will collaborate on the disassembly methods, and integrate LIDAR, RFID, and other digital information into AutoCAD and BIM software systems.  

 

  

 Question:  Will you find new sites for these awesome buildings ?

Answer:  Most American cities have neighborhoods of high value homes. There are hundreds of ultra high end communities with existing homes of comparable value where one of our houses would be welcomed, enhance the neighborhood, and sustain the multimillion dollar value of the property for future generations.   These castles can also be the centerpiece of rural estates.  A significant portion of the increase in real estate wealth that these houses capture comes from of moving them from areas of weak value to those of strong value.   Arbitrage from smaller cities in the Midwest to the Boston/Washington DC,  Seattle/San Diego,  Chicago/Houston corridors, make it possible to realize 20-40 TIMES (not PERCENT) increases in the value of the real estate asset.   The key is the ability to relocate the mansions.

We anticipate that most potential buyers would have preferences of where the house should go.  We can assist in the finding the new location if necessary, and connect with the local architecture community to handle the design and reconstruction for the buyer.

 

Question:   Why must it be moved ?

Answer:  The neighborhood is rife with drug activity and violent gun crime.  In 2008, there were 19,331 calls for police service, 1,703 crimes including 11 murders, 19 rapes,  237 robberies,  92 assaults,  440 burglaries, 776 larcenies, and 144 car thefts. 

The chance of being a victim of a crime is 1 in 11.

The chance of being a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 75.

The chance of being a victim of property crime is 1 in 13.

The violent crime index is 41% higher than its city average and 218% the state average.

Crime is up 16 percent from 2000.  Many residents have grown complacent and fearful of reporting criminal activity for fear of reprisal.  Gunfire is so frequent that some residents say their dogs stopped howling.

 

Comment:   Hello, I have no idea how I found your site but your work is amazing.  I don’t need a castle moved today but wanted to share. There are so many fascinating aspects of what you do.   Watching the video I felt like I was being transported through generations to actual people and their lives and how architecture affects our lives even though we are unaware of it. I’m just so excited to see what you do!  I mostly just wanted to say that what your doing is amazing!!!

 

Question:  If I buy this U won't send anybody that disassembled to supervise the reassembly ! The price is ridiculous for me to buy a bunch of blocks with no no idea of were these blocks would go!

 

Answer:  We will be heavily involved in the reconstruction. We document the house with laser, photography, and video with close supervision with the buyer's architect.  Every stone must be relocated in the same spot it came from.  Every stick and stone is individually permanently tagged with RFID chips.  The buyer's architect and construction contractors do the reconstruction. Laser scan data accurate to 1/7 inch imports directly into leading architectural software which produces detailed drawings for the reconstruction of the house in the manner desired by the new owner.  The buyer's architect provides the established local construction capabilities, subcontractors, building departments, local craftsmen, equipment vendors, and other agencies involved in these big jobs.  Working together ... as professionals with heavyweight computers running awesome software ... we can deliver a stone house that is identical to the original magnificent mansion.  Its relocation to a complementary site will immediately increase the new owners real estate wealth by at least the invested money.

 

ResErections sees its role as finding buyers willing to put enough money into moving buildings that are worth moving.  Judge the buyer's motivation and standards by the resources that they can bring to bear to save buildings that are doomed by their current situation and ownership. ResErections collaborates with local architects and tradesmen at both the source and destination of the buildings.  We document the structure, supervise on-site work standards, and package and ship the recovered components.  We build the supply chain between the seller and the buyer of reputable professional firms.  The chain of firms is different for every structure .. Ohio to Texas, New York to Atlanta, and so forth.   We do not rebuild because we have no control over what the new owner and architect want to do.

 

We only disassemble whole buildings with the purpose that it will be rebuilt, not selected pieces or components.  We recover everything that will not crumble when touched.

 

Question:  I'm an AIA Architect.  Very, very interesting.   Ok, so the area is so bad it would be a must to move. I have never bought and moved and reconstructed a house.  This is certainly something that I will research.  Let me look into the process.  I have clients that can afford this house.  The cost is in the range of custom designed residential homes we are building now.   We provide professional architectural, engineering, & surveying services in multiple states. 

 

Answer:  With professional architecture and structural engineering at both the source and destinations, backed up with laser scanning, RFID inventory control, BIM and AutoCAD, and skilled craftsmen, it can be smoothly accomplished. It is expensive, but returns are immediate relocated to an appropriate setting.

 

Comment:  Fabulous - this is just the kind of preservation education we like to offer our followers.  We specialize in historic millwork, so renovating historical buildings is the source of our work.  Thanks for the great inside look at how these particular preservation projects happen.   We will highlight your project in the e-newsletter we'll be sending out at the end of the month.  You guys are doing great work ! Visit our site at historic-renovations.com

 

Question:   What is the location of this beautiful mansion?

 

Answer:  Thanks for your appreciation ... Because it is going to be moved, and transportation costs anywhere in the US are paid, its current location is irrelevant. However, it is within 200 miles of Indianapolis, Indiana.

 

Question:  Very sad story - Love the house - Glad someone is actually trying to preserve the history - Shame the neighborhood is so bad ... Great effort, Sir

 

Answer:  Thanks for comments .. actually, this house's situation is common, but most of them have been destroyed. This one is still beautiful.   We want to see it in a beautiful setting.  

 

Question:  I went to your website and also watched the you tube video. My question is you would also pack and ship all furnishings? And I saw how you take apart the roof and outside, but what about all the plaster work ? The ceilings alone are a work of art. Not to mention the molding and all the decorative little pieces. I am guessing I would need a master plaster? Also you number the stones and wood framing, do you also number the brick and ship it also. And do you clean all mortar off the stone and brick before shipping? I love the work you are doing.

 

Answer:  With the exception of family heirlooms, almost all of the furniture in the house can be shipped to the new buyer. The period furnishings  were the best money could buy and are in immaculate condition.  The plaster work will be scanned, photographed, and molds made so that it can be reproduced. Over the years, as members of various historical craft groups, we have identified master plasterers who are able to restore the ceilings, and many other artisans and craftsmen who specialize in masonry, carpentry, restoring, painting, stone cleaning, architecture, construction supervision, and so forth.  While we recover and clean the brick, it makes no sense to ship brick which can be purchased at the new site far cheaper. Brick used in interior walls of these older houses is soft, extremely heavy, and low quality.

 

Question:  Does the home have to be moved ? Can it be purchased and left at current location. I understand there is high crime in the area. However with proper security and we are from Texas and are well armed. So for us the crime it not a huge issue. We really love the home design.

 

Answer:  Hmmmm ... I suspect you are kidding me, but an offer of $ 1,500,000 As-Is-Where-Is would deserve serious consideration. I hope you are well armed.   Our understanding is that crack makes users feel invulnerable, so you would get lots of live target practice.  Also, this state does not have the aggressive Texas armed self defense laws that would protect you from having gun fun.  Unfortunately, you would not benefit from the increase in your wealth that you would experience by relocating it on your own suitable site.

 

Question:  Thank you for showing this dream of all dreams. I wish I could buy it. Thank you. I just love this place.

 

Answer:  Thank you ... We are so pleased with people's reaction to this beautiful window into the 1890s.

 

Question:  Why is this being moved off the lot it is on now ? I'm curious. Wow - what a beautiful home.

 

Answer:  It is time to start finding a new home for the house to make sure that it stays together in prior anticipation of an estate liquidation.

 

Question:  Just clean up the neighborhood there.

 

Answer:   Move the thousands of subsidized housing residents .. retired social security recipients, old veterans, drug dealers, little old ladies, children, gang members, and other disadvantaged people living in the surrounding Section 8 neighborhood elsewhere .. so they can be somebody else's problem ??   Why do the self-righteous  think that the 16% of  Americans who live in poverty and need assistance are all undeserving ??   Neighborhood prices are a function of subsidized incomes at taxpayers expense.  There is little chance of improvement in an economy increasingly reliant on an aging workforce of low wage workers.

  

Question:  Will the reconstructed building qualify for national historic registry listing ?

 

Answer: No ... Our effort moving this building will not meet the bureaucratic and time consuming technical standards of professional historic preservationists and conservators. This building is being offered as a reconstructed work of architectural art, not a representation of history.  It is not located in a historic district.  No historically notable activities occurred in this building.  The rebuilt building will be a work of construction art that recovers and represents the best architecture of the Gilded Age.  The moved building will be no longer "historic" in the purist's sense of the word.  Standards of work performed by modern artisans and craftsmen will be of the highest quality justified by the significant investment.  The buyer and architect will have complete freedom in reconfiguring the house exterior, interior, and new site.

 

ResErections will not tie the buyer's reconstruction efforts to bureaucratic qualifications for government tax credits or require employment of certified historic craftsmen and archivists or seek protective covenants or finicky rehabilitation agreements insuring that the buildings will be protected from changes. We do not offer cultural resource management, historic preservation planning, historical research, litigation encouragement and support, and academic grantsmanship.    You Buy It ... We Disassemble It ... You ReBuild It ... You Own It.

 

Comment:  This is a great project idea and I'm assuming you misspelled Resurrections deliberately.  To what purpose ?  ...   Resurrect + Erections (new buildings) ?  Clever!!

 

Question:   I understand why it costs millions to disassemble and ship a house, but I guess that it would cost many more millions to reconstruct the house.  I suspect that it would be outrageously impractical ?

 

Answer:  Not so.  Basically, we deliver a house for around $ 300 per sqft.  High end reconstruction with architects and top construction firms often build ultra houses between $ 700 and $ 1,500 per sqft.  We deliver all of the material to reconstruct the original building, so the expenditures on the new house are for design, craft labor, interior, high end features, extra additions, and sites.   This means that buyers could easily spend $ 400 and more per sqft to reconstruct and still be less expensive than the ultra modern McMansion.

 

Question:  If I connect you with a buyer, will you pay a commission ?

Answer:  Yes, ResErections will pay non-owner individuals a commission or finders fee of $ 50,000 upon closing.   An additonal $ 25,000 fee would be paid to non-owner individuals that identify additional endangered houses that we market and provides local support services such as photography and current owner connections.  You must contact us to establish your role as an initiator source.  A Confidentiality Agreement will be necessary.

Question:   What is the actual address?

Answer:   We will disclose the actual location to a serious interest with a signed Confidentiality Agreement.   Please Understand ... the house is located in a very tough neighborhood.  For the sake of security and privacy of the owner, and for the safety of the questioner, it is not unreasonable or impolite to ask for a confidentiality agreement. Especially since the location is irrelevant ... it is being sold to relocate anywhere and the cost of domestic transportation is included.  Leaving it where it is ... is not an option.

 

Question:  What a beautiful house ! I have read many time to make sure what you saying to relocate to my Site. If I buy this can you ship to Brazil where I own land ? Will it still cost same amount ?.

Answer:  You would be responsible for shipping costs from a US port and taxes of the foreign country.  We would containerize and ship to the US port for the same price.

 

Question:  Very sad story .. Love the house.  Glad someone is trying to preserve our history.  Shame the neighborhood is so bad.  Great effort sir !

Answer:  Great credit will go to the person or institution that steps forward to save these houses.  It will be a notable architectural achievement.

 

Comment:  Salvaging and recycling of building materials from homes and buildings that may have outlived their original purpose has been going on for a long time. The quality of hand cut stone and old growth wood  cannot be found today.   

 

Question:  Thank you for showing this dream of all dreams.  I only wish I could buy it.  Thank you,  I just love this place.

 

Answer:  We have seen too many of these majestic houses hauled to the landfill so that apartments, parking lots, or wider streets can be constructed. I am glad you could share our enjoyment. I hope you looked at the video.  Makes tears come to my eyes.  Beauty is so rare.

 

Question:  Thank you for your reply.  I’d be more than willing to sign said disclosure.  Please send it to me at my email address.

 

Answer:  Attached please find a Non-Disclosure Agreement  ... Please sign and return to me, and I will send you the address of the property you wished to see.  Contact me if you wish to see the interior of this private residence if your interest is serious.

 

Question:  The place is beautiful but seems gloomy. Are there ghosts and spirits in the place? I have a hunch there is.

 

Answer:  Nope ... No Ghosts, etc. ... but the rooms really are not lived in ...  though the house is big, and occupied all the time.  The owner's inventory of decades of selecting highest quality antiques, especially art vases, paintings, and other beautiful objects make the rooms appear crowded ... which they are ...  Everything must stay inside or disappears.

 

Question:  Just wondering why you are selling this house? it seems like a major reconstruction job to even think about moving it. 

 

Answer:  Not really ... the value of the reconstructed house would far exceed the cost. Failing to sell will result in plundering and ultimate demolition.  Because of its architectural merit and quality, it is worth the moderate cost of reconstruction on a site that replicates the quality of the 1890 neighborhood it was built in.  The house is art, and retains its original beauty.  Its current environment is blighted.

 

With highly skilled careful disassembly, accurate 3D laser documentation, and RFID tracking of every piece, the house can be rebuilt precisely.  It is expensive to pay for the professional engineering and craftsman skills, but worth the cost because the result is worth far more than the dollars spent.   We believe that it will take 30 man years of labor to do the entire work.  At an average of $ 100,000 per man year, a lot of talented architects, engineers, building inspectors, construction workers, truck drivers, lawyers, bankers, governmental permit(tax) collectors, insurance companies, equipment rental firms, and material and tool suppliers will get a chunk of work.

 

Interestingly ... The reconstructed building will meet the highest environmental requirements, saving the resources that would be spent creating a modern McMansion of the same size with far less quality materials.   All of the original house materials are saved and reused.

 

Question:  How do you find buildings ?

 

Answer:   We select buildings that are endangered … located in undesirable neighborhoods, in the way for development, converted to inappropriate uses, abandoned, unoccupied, condemned, and so forth. We are not interested in preservation for preservation’s sake or fighting anyone. We do not hide our efforts, and work with the municipality, historic commissions, local enterprises, etc.  Moving endangered structures is appealing when demolition is the alternative. The idea that a mansion would have a new life often gains support from preservation opponents.

 


These houses have worn out the efforts of amateurs to remain useful. Big houses with antiquated systems are very expensive to operate.  It makes sense to save something that has outlived its usefulness with a newer, more efficient version of itself, and even more sense to select houses whose value on the new site justifies the high expense of precision disassembly and reconstruction.

 


Planned demolition sneaks up on buildings, as desirable redevelopment efforts function subrosa until the demolition permit is issued. Then, the window for saving the building is a matter of weeks and can only be changed with cash in hand or lawyers. Developers do not want fights with preservation advocates (some of them nuts) before the axe is already falling. The buildings are going to be removed for good reasons by seasoned construction and development firms with institutional and government support.

 


We are trying to break this mold by applying engineering and technology to moving wonderful structures. It is expensive, so finding a buyer is the most difficult task. The house has to be worth it. We focus on advertising to architects and developers, relying on creating a great profit opportunity for all the parties moving high value mansions from low value sites to be reconstructed on high value sites hundreds of miles away.  That is our business model.

 

Question:  I understand that the stone shells of the houses can be retrieved without damage, but what about the elaborate wooden interiors ?

 

Answer:  We employ experienced carpenters and cabinet makers to disassemble visible wooden components ... wainscotting, mantels, pocket doors, windows, baseboards, cabinetry, with no damage.   Then, as the shell is disassembled, carpenters recover the rafters, studs, floorboards, and joists as the disassembly moves from the roof to the basement.  There may be slight damage of smaller boards due to nails and other fasteners.   Some of the visible wooden components will need to be refinished before reconstruction as directed by the buyer's architects.   We also work with Historic Renovations, Inc. a Pennsylvania firm specializing in restoration of interior woods.    

     <<< Click on their Logo to visit their site 

 

 

 

Question: Cleaning up the neighborhood doesn't protect them from vandalism and theft and often also includes turning these marvels into group homes.  How has the owner managed to keep it intact in such a high crime area (the windows expecially)?  And, if no one stands to inherit, why the exclusion of family heirlooms.  We have many pictures of similar homes that have not survived the area crime, so good luck and beautiful video.

 

 Answer:   Protected by good dogs ... As you probably notice that the interior of the house is a bit crowded with artifacts, vases, art, etc. because the only way to keep things safe in the area is to keep everything inside.   Many items, such as great old wrought iron fencing have disappeared.   Anything visible outside from the street is gone.   Fortunately, the house is owner occupied, and mostly hidden, explaining why the stained glass still exists unharmed.  The owner has exquisite taste, and has been collecting antiques and art for many decades.   He is in his late 60's, and has no intention of leaving the planet prematurely, but it is clear what will happen when the house becomes an estate, and he wants to avoid this.  Most of the contents can stay with the house, but he wishes to retain selected items for his retirement residence.

 

Question:  This building has SO MUCH POTENTIAL!!  I just want to say that this is a beautiful home and it is certainly a NATIONAL TREASURE.  I can tell that you are very interested in preserving this architectural master piece and that is both noble and wonderful.

 

Why not turn the large mansion space into a public place that could be used to rehabilitate the neighborhood?  Why not turn it into a museum, children's art and learning center, restaurant etc. You could employ people from the surrounding neighborhood as cheap minimum wage labor for the conversion and then afterwards continue to employ them as restaurant workers, museum employees, or care givers. Or whatever else you could think of!! This would serve to both protect this priceless national treasure AND breathe new life into a forgotten neighborhood.

  

Answer:  This kind of thinking results in the many failed preservation efforts now boarded up in older urban neighborhoods.  The neighborhood has been decaying for 60 years, and will continue to morph into an urban institutional and commercial district.  We are well beyond retirement age, and not missionaries interested in some social rehabilitation role ... that is a young progressive enthusiast's task.  Practicality rules out maintaining this house in its present location.  It is owner occupied, and we have no interest in improving the neighborhood, making money off low wage labor, or saving anything ... except the house.  We want to move the house to an environment that is as pleasant as its neighborhood was in 1890, and as private owners, we have every right to do so.  The house itself is movable personal property, not real estate.  It just happens to be located on a valueless piece of ground.

 

There is no shortage of derelict mansions in central city environments.  There are several houses in the same neighborhood that are of equal external architecture but are looted, abandoned, and distressed.   Look at the other houses offered on this web site.  They are boarded up examples of houses that were not saved before their owners went broke and their interiors were plundered.  They would be satisfactory for the purposes you suggest.  There is a plethora of existing professional social service agencies already in the neighborhood.  All of the ideas you suggest can be accomplished in any old building in the community ... certainly not calling for the jewel that this house is.

 

And, due to computer technology and construction craftsmanship, the house can be disassembled and reassembled virtually perfectly.  Why Not ??  There is no reason to keep the house where it is.  It costs millions to move a mansion.  The key is to get enough cash to do the work, and select houses that are worth saving.  The result is worth the investment.

 

We will not consider keeping the house where it now is.  It is not an estate sale yet, but if it were to fall into the hands of the normal estate disposition process, in the next decade or two, it will be looted of its beautiful interiors, auctioned off for pennies, and converted to a near Section 8 apartment building or torn down to make room for additional high rise disadvantaged housing as you can see in the video that captures the building next door to this house.

 

Comment:   I am an AIA Architect.   I have checked in to your website from time to time over the last few years, and have been impressed with your mission and your work.  Congratulations on the salvage and restoration of these great stone buildings – and “Thank You”.   Wherever they are reconstructed, they represent the preservation of art, craft, and history, and they are adding beauty and value to their environment.   Again – the work looks like a lot of fun, and it’s very much worth doing.   Good luck in the future.

 

Question:  The price is way beyond my means.   Will you lower the price if it does not sell soon ?

Answer:   Sorry … the price is as low as it can be to do the large scale, careful construction work of disassembly as well as recover the value of the house and its fine contents, perhaps as much as $ 500,000 in furnishings, art, carpets, pottery, stained glass, and architectural components.  

 

The price sets a threshold that represents real costs and tangible values of the house and the buyer’s capabilities to actually reconstruct the house.  We are sure that the value of the reconstructed house will be at least twice the price for a quick return on investment of 100%.  There are many communities that would be appropriate for these houses in metropolitan cities on the eastern and western seaboard.  Wealth holders are the market for these houses.  There are 60,000 households in the US with a net worth of more than $ 30 million dollars. 

 

Comment:  I think you are trying to demolish Romanesque II, a building you bought for $ 75,000 and sell the floor plans and rubble for $ 2 million to create a marketable commercial site.

Response:  That is a pejorative misconception.  Wrong, Wrong, Wrong ... We did not buy or own the building.  We will not demolish it to rubble.   We only work on endangered buildings slated for wrecking ball demolition.  We did not create the building's situation.  It will be Laser scanned for extremely accurate measurement and disassembled stone by stone and stick by stick with the intention to reconstruct it with its original materials exactly as it is now on a new site that is located in as nice a setting as it was in 1886 when the house was built.   The individual stones will have to be put back in exactly the same position as the original, and it will take several months to disassemble and reassemble.

 

ResErections does not own the building or site, and will not benefit from whatever use the site is put after we save the building by moving it out of the way of the current owner's redevelopment efforts.  The highest use for the great site would be a state of the art health or human services related structure. 

 

That $ 2 million is going to be SPENT, not pocketed.  Creating 20 Man Years of American craftsmen employment.  The money is what it will cost and makes saving the house possible by bringing together the right professional business services to do the actual work.

 

These projects are the Ultimate in Global Macro Scale Recycling !  Careful Documentation, Architecture, Engineering, Craftsmen,  American Jobs, many local service and construction vendors.  Materials, Transportation, Insurance, Building Inspectors, even Lawyers.   It would be nice to move it to a local site, but the money may come from the Atlantic or Pacific seaboard cities where the affluent live and real estate values make this house a bargain.

  

If we are unsuccessful in finding a buyer to finance the disassembly of the house, it will be leveled with a few days of backhoe and wrecking ball work like the Gamble house (see below).   We are actually in a race to find a buyer before the typical demolition process takes over. 

 

Question:   Will the neighborhood object to moving this house ?

 

Answer:  People love wonderful architecture.  They want to preserve and protect it.   Embedded in the historic architecture preservationist professional culture is the strong idea that the houses should be preserved in situ.   Where this is possible, we strongly support this position.  We will not move a house that is appropriately sited.

 

This is not the reality faced by many of these magnificent old gilded age buildings.  Many wonderful huge houses face demolition because of the economics of their current environment.  Many attempts to save it by former owners have failed.  The building is abandoned or run down, heating costs are enormous, repairs and maintenance are large and never ending, the neighborhood is unsafe for residents that can afford to restore them, criminal activities move in,  hospitals and colleges want the land for their expansions.  The houses become public nuisances.   The city’s building department wants it gone for good reasons.  These properties are usually distressed, so it takes small money to purchase.  The problem is it takes big money (usually taxpayers money) to renovate.  Much more than anyone expects.   So the renovations go on for years, or are sloppily done for the house to conform to minimum modern building codes, the characteristics of the neighborhood they are stuck in, the local demand for shelter, and the availability of materials from Home Depot.   Some houses are just impossible to reconstruct on their current sites.   The result is not worth the cost.  Banks won't even foreclose on them because they do not want the responsibility.  The house’s insolvable problem is that it is where it is.

 

Local citizens often rightfully wish to save wonderful buildings.  They seek participation in decisions about the building and community.  There is a substantial community of professional experts that make a living operating for-profit and non-profit - salary paying - businesses securing funding through private sources and government grants of tax payer money to preserve appropriate architecture.   The Supreme Court of Ohio, after years of litigation, recently granted the property owner the right to demolish Cincinnati's Gamble house of P&G fame.  Realistic common sense and property rights usually settle conflicts, and this and many precedent legal judgments establish very strong private property rights.

 

           

 

 

 

 

After 4 years of battling and hundreds of thousands of legal fees, preservationists failed to save the Gamble house.  Moving these grand old mansions is better than demolishing them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look at the other mansions on this web site .. they are examples of what happens to these beautiful structures when several former owner's money has run out.

 

We avoid legal battles over these houses.  We are ready to accept valid purchase offers at our stated price from local community buyers.  If they they want to keep it, and can pay for it, they can have it.

 

Comment:  So glad you are doing this.  It is fascinating.  I am an AIA architect and have been looking at your site for a couple of years.  This is really fun to watch ... Keep it up.

 

Comment: In America, preservation and restoration is a very profitable - many billion dollar industry.  Maintenance of public  and historic structures is a high art, with many professional practitioners.  There is no shortage of work to do, and the majority of the work is paid for institutionally, by government, or other cultural organizations.   It is by no means a non-profit business.   Professional preservationists have an obligation to selectively and responsibly put limited talents and money where the best of heritage is preserved rather than telling others what their limited resources and public tax money should be spent on.  Revenue motivated advocates often whip up well meaning public hysteria and rely on legal obstructionism to preserve old structures under the guise of "non-profit" - but salary paying organizations.  Good solutions to reclaiming and using historic structures are criticized as not good enough, resulting in decay and loss, and worthy structures are demolished because enough money could not be found to do a better thing.   Moving endangered structures is a far better result than scavenging for individual components and demolition.

 

ResErections will not tie the buyer's reconstruction efforts to bureaucratic qualifications for government tax credits or require employment of certified historic craftsmen and archivists or seek protective covenants and finicky rehabilitation agreements insuring that the buildings will be protected from changes.  We do not offer cultural resource management, historic preservation planning, historical research, litigation support and encouragement, and academic grantsmanship.  We will not solicit government - taxpayer - dollars to do the work.   You Buy It ... We DisAssemble It ... You ReBuild It ... You Own It.

 

This does not mean that work done on this structure will not meet the highest architectural and engineering standards of disassembly and reconstruction.  We expect that the work product will be superlative.  It just won't be done with government - taxpayer - money ... although a lot of permits, filings, millions in taxes, and so forth will be paid to government by the owners and doers.

 

Question:    A castle in my state with lots of land in a nice location cannot get $ 5.5 million.    In my opinion, it is not realistic to expect as much as $ 2.9 million.

 

Answer:   The castle you mentioned is indeed marvelous but stuck where it is, meaning that the buyer's must want to move to the house in Minnesota.   In our case, we move the house to the buyer.  It is expensive, but very feasible.  If you lived in, and wanted this house in Houston or Napa or Fargo or San Francisco ... we can deliver it and save endangered beautiful buildings that would be demolished and lost.  We do not move a house that is located on a suitable site.   Consider the value of this house rebuilt in a multimillion dollar neighborhood in New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Atlanta, Texas, California.

 

Comment:   As architects, we recently coordinated  the move of two historic homes just across town for our local Historic Museum.  It was a very rewarding experience to see these two gems find renewed life on a shared site in Findlay, Ohio.

Comment:  I am a General Contractor, a huge architecture buff, and a even bigger fan of what you are doing.  I love the architecture back east.  Having been in the business for two decades, I know that even a builder grade copy of this house would run over a million dollars, and five million to try to reproduce all of the stone and woodwork to original design, quality, and detail standards.  This beauty is a steal in my eyes. 

 

Question:  This price you are asking .. is it to take it down and rebuild it on the buyer's site ?   How long would it take to take down and rebuild.

 

Answer: The price is for documentation, disassembly, and delivery to the new site.  The design and reconstruction costs are not included, as we cannot predict what the buyer's selection of architect and subsequent contractors will be at the new site.  In terms of actual disassembly time, the 6,200 sqft Kemper house took 5 months, and the 8,500 sqft Middletown Church took 7 months with a small crew of 7-9 workers.  Disassembly of Romanesque I will require a high level of specialized expert crafts to document, disassemble and package the interior contents.  We would expect a 4-6 month effort.  Rebuilding should be pretty fast, as the materials and documentation is already at hand and there is plenty of time to do the re-architecture design.   Keep in mind that RFID allows just-in-time retrieval of every required item as it is needed, eliminating the waste of searching and sorting material.  We believe that reconstruction time will be much faster and cheaper than conventional processes.

 

Question:  Well, I would NEVER sell this historic building to someone who would tear it down just to rebuild it.  NEVER would they get the same appeal.   This building should be saved under the Historic Buildings clause or section code under the US Documents of Historic Preservation.

 

Answer:  Here is the appropriate "clause".   Listing on the National Registry may be emotionally satisfying, but it does not protect structures that are not listed as historic and cannot force owners to submit to such a listing.  Listing structures and entire neighborhoods on the National Registry is fine where the properties to be protected are not facing demolition and endangered due to abandonment, deterioration, costs of operation, competing uses for their sites by public and private organizations.  Only the owner of a non-listed structure is permitted to volunteer its listing on the National Registry.  A house that is not listed is construed as intentionally not listed.   A moveable private house is not real estate, but the owner's personal property that temporarily occupies a specific piece of dirt owned and taxed by the sovereign state.

 

 

No chance that we would willingly turn the house over to a committee of interested citizens or government bureaucrats to determine its future.  This kind of thinking is the cause of the deteriorated, boarded up mansions in urban ghettos.  With modern engineering and computing technology, we can rebuild the house with an extraordinary level of accuracy.  In any American city that was once an affluent gilded age industrialist capitalist haven, you will find mansions wasting away

 

National Registry listings also lapse in situations where the house has been listed on the registry as examples of architecture and has been significantly altered by conversions to group homes, apartments, nursing homes, and neglect and deterioration.

People do not move buildings to achieve or maintain a National Registry listing, but because they want the building, not its listing on some basically irrelevant birth certificate.  Listing on the National Registry is often a detriment to the value of the building.  Buildings that we move are not Historic or listed on the National Registry ... but still preserve the architectural art.   The moved building will no longer be 'Historic', but will certainly have a history and likely still be standing 100 years from now.  Lack of a National Registry listing on a re-sited house will actually increase its value and marketability.

 

Question:  Will the reconstructed building qualify for Federal and State Tax Credits ?

 

Answer:  NO.  The qualifications for the 20% Tax Exemption for Historic Buildings are very extensive, detailed, and force applicants to seek professional assistance to fulfill bureaucratic application requirements with Federal, State, and Local governments.  These requirements are the foundation for a tax supported profitable "not for profit"   multi-billion dollar ... salary paying industry.  It is a commendable business of great benefit for historic commercial buildings that aren't worth moving.   Basically :

  1. The building must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or certified as contributing to the significance of a "registered historic district."

  2. The project must meet the "substantial rehabilitation test."

  3. The project must be done according to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. 

  4. The building must be used in an income producing purpose for at least 5 years.   Owner-occupied residential properties do not qualify. 

 

The Secretary of Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation are an extensive list of 10 rules of practice protecting the structure in its historic form on its historic site.  Moving buildings that we offer will not qualify for tax deferrals.   http://www.nps.gov/tps/standards/rehabilitation/rehab/stand.htm

 

The lack of income tax incentives for the restoration of structures like our mansions is no barrier to moving them.   Renovation of these houses on site would cost $ 150 sqft, so on a 8,000 sqft house, like Romanesque II or III, renovation would run $ 1,200,000.  So a 20% tax deduction would be $ 240,000 on the house where it currently sits, and the owner would have to structure the building as a commercial business, such as a bed & breakfast, antique shop, historical museum exhibit, or funeral home.

 

This means that the extensive requirements for inclusion on the National Register, and documentation and approval by experts and local building authorities and community advocacy groups sets up professional costs that will likely exceed the value of the tax deduction.    This results in mothballing, continuing rot, and doom for a lot of great buildings in locations where it does not make sense to spend the dollars.  

 

We think that  "You Buy It ... We DisAssemble It ... You ReBuild It ... You Own It." creates an opportunity for investors to create new substantial wealth by recovering the value of the house in the Gilded Age, when it was built.

 

Question:  Do you guys own Romanesque III ?  We drive by it often.  If so, we would like to know what you guys are doing  about it.  It is a boarded up rotting eyesore, a danger, and should be demolished.

 

Answer:  We do not own any of the houses on our web site, but have agreements with the owners to search for buyers that will move the houses to suitable new sites.  You are right about Romanesque III.  It is a wreck, but the stone shell is fine.  It is a beautiful stone 1888 Samuel Hannaford Romanesque house that would be easy to move  ... costly, but easy and worth it.  Because the interior is already gone, the re-architected version will have freedom to rebuild the interior as the buyer would prefer.  We hope the city isn't forced to demolish it before we find a buyer.   We are doing our best to save it and remove it from the neighborhood.   It's site is contiguous to the Martin Luther King Park and would make an excellent expansion of the community park.  

 

Romanesque III  Street View
         Click to the Google Street View of the building.

 

 

 Comment: There are always going to be people screaming bloody murder about dismantling beautiful architecture.  If preservationists are not willing to put their money where their mouth is and buy the properties and maintain them where they stand, they have zero rights to bitch.  They want the government to use taxpayer dollars to pay academics and grantsmanship artists to mothball the buildings.  Leaving them to rot on-site is a colossal waste of craftsmanship and beautiful recyclable materials that we may never see the likes of again.

 

Comment:   Right on, my friend ... This is how I feel about the situation as well.  You have my heart.  I wish I could buy it or should I say buy one like it.  WOW !  What you say abou integrating modern technology and what they can do is awesome.  The goal of preservationists should not be to prevent in all cases, but to assure themselves that the work will be done right, and that things of value remain things of value after they are saved from demolition.   Moving a building saves it for our culture and brings back the old skills of masonry, carpentry, and other crafts that find work in disassembly and reconstruction.

 

Comment:  Loved visiting your wonderful web site.  I worked 40 years at various sites making survey drawings of significant historical structures for the collections in the National Archives, so I understand the work you do and why.  As a professional Historical Architect, my work in the coastal Atlantic states were fantastic recording projects.  Some buildings were selected due to the danger of demolition while others were meant to be records of some of the best and most unique examples of their kind.   My friends at NPS/TPS tell me that moving or reconstructing historic buildings is not recommended, but then ... most of them are strictly academics.

 

Assertion:  $ 2.9 million is not asking too much for Romanesque I.  The house structure and  period content is magnificent.  It is a work of high architectural art.  It is a beautiful estate house.  It is actually a small house compared to the McCastles being built today, but it's wonderful living, dining, and library rooms and seven bedrooms would suit a large family quite well.  Rebuilt to modern architectural engineering standards, it will be a very efficient residence.  It really makes a statement .. there will be nothing like it down the street.    It will add wealth.   Doing well while doing good.  The new owner will have done something memorable.

 

Comment:   Hi ... i was thinking that the asking price for the property was too high, but after reading the listing twice and viewing your website i think this is amazing what you are doing and i am "HOOKED" after viewing your website. This is truly magnificent.   One needs a great site for these properties.  They need to be in beautiful settings ... a lake in a great area ... a hilltop with a view.    The asking price is spot on ... it takes a ton of work and one cannot build or buy such a great massive building for less  ...  and a historic architectural beauty.  

 

Answer:     If one had to move the mansion and all is redone to its proper state what will the property sell for?   It depends on  Location ... Location ... Re-Location.    A lot more than it cost to move it.  I would not be surprised at a value 4 times its cost in an awesome location.  It could be priceless.

 

OverView:  ResErections is a pioneering seven year old - new kind of business linking independent local architecture, engineering, and construction businesses with similar firms in other localities nationwide.  We move houses from Ohio to Texas or New York to Pennsylvania.  Every project is new - from and to different towns with different professionals at each end.   Architecture firms in the source city know their city's design/construction/permit/taxation et al structures, as do the architecture firms employed by the new building's owner at the destination site.   We build the supply chain that make this work for each house.  ResErections creates the contracts, documentation, coordination, payment, marketing, transportation, legal, insurance.  At both ends, local firms handle local commercial  relationships and municipal entities to assure that the new owner's property is professionally built. 

The projects are expensive because they  are large, complex, and deal with big structures that are really heavy stone buildings with the mission of accurate reconstruction.  Our daily production management role is to run a Private Internet Microsoft Cloud Network for real time information and communication from the desktop to the smart phone, and to physically move the house's material and its crucial documentation, often 800 to 1,200 tons and 20-40 truck loads over a period of months.  We specialize in the documentation, packaging, and safe shipping of the hundreds of pallets of thousands of pieces from source to a destination a thousand miles away.  

We are aware of no other businesses with an inventory of fine mansions and internet based access to a worldwide market that exists for magnificent endangered historic architecture.   We maintain an active web site, and publish a monthly email newsletter to thousands of architects, engineers, designers, and realtors worldwide.

We are only interested in completely moving entire buildings.  Buildings whose value will increase 20-40 times by relocation to suitable vibrant communities.  We create a great deal for the buyers, the sellers, the doers, and the public.

 

It costs several million to move a mansion.  This investment is immediately rewarded with a real estate property asset worth more than the money spent, so the actual cost is zero.  And the new owner will have restored a 120 year old historic structure built by a famous architect for a notable gilded age entrepreneur.  Each house has a story.

 

Location .. Location .. Re-Location !!

 


 

Romanesque I - An American Castle - Video 

 


 

 

 

 

How ResErections got into this business ... 

 


 

 

 

ResErections has several American Castles for relocation  -  click the image.

 

         

            

    

            


 

 

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