Build a historic old house on your lot

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Historic Preservation

How many times have you wished that beautiful old house that could be purchased for a dollar was a little closer to your location? If you're a historic home enthusiast, you've probably read about quite a few. Of course, there's almost always that little catch about the house having to be moved to a new lot. And while a journey down the street or even across town might not be too bad, keeping the old structure intact during a move to a different state could be difficult and cost prohibitive.

But what if you could have a home that's already full of history built right on your property -- just as you would a new house? William Gould Architectural Preservation, LLC, a small Connecticut company dedicated to saving old structures, may be able to do just that.

Saving old houses one piece at a time

As someone whose love of old houses began at an early age, I take great pleasure in writing about preservation success stories. However, I also realize that for every historic home saved there are a multitude that end up in landfills. I recently posted about how despite valiant efforts by preservationists, a historic old house in Cincinnati was bulldozed and am currently hoping a beautiful home in Florida doesn't meet the same fate.

That's why my fascination grew the more I read about Mr. Gould's company -- when it comes to saving old homes and buildings, he definitely thinks "outside the box." What exactly does William Gould Architectural Preservation, LLC do? Pretty much whatever's required to save historic structures in the New England region.

According to Gould, he can move a house intact or disassemble it, protectively pack each piece, and send it across the country. Gould states that he has shipped old homes as far as from New England to Oregon. He can also manage the reassembly of the structure but prefers to limit those services to his immediate area. How much can be reused when each house is taken apart varies. But in at least one case, Gould was able to save stenciled plaster walls by encasing them in foam and removing entire sections.

Online old house shopping

William Gould Architectural Preservation, LLC's website features an array of historic old houses that are available -- some of which are still intact and others that have already been disassembled. The company also has a number of old New England barns that could be suitable for conversion to homes. I have no personal experience with the company so can't vouch for its performance. However, if you have the land but not the old house you've always dreamed of, Gould's company might be worth strong consideration. He is definitely a leader in New England historic preservation.


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  1. 3 Responses  to “Build a historic old house on your lot”

  2. Rebecca Reed
    Jun 5, 2016
    My husband and I are trying to research the cost of moving a historical home to our property approx 7 miles from the village located in Windsor NY. This home will be demolished if no one takes it. It's free to whoever will move it. I am not sure my husband and I could even afford to do this but I at least wanna look into it. Can you please tell us where we could get a quote on the cost of moving the house?
  3. Feb 4, 2015
    Hello Conrad, Since your article another historical gem is in the line of fire for demolition: the Croft house on the Teatown Lake Preserve in Ossining and Yorktown, New York. The Tudor, was built in 1914 by the English businessman and decorator Vernay with the architects Forster & Coretto and employed British craftsmen to complete the work. The 5,500 sf building includes materials from the renowned Compton Wynates estate in Warwickshire, and much of the material and ornate carvings, fireplaces, beams and posts are from the mid to late 1600. The Teatown Preserve foundation claims they do not have the money to preserve and refurbish the estate to function as their educational center and has acquired a salvage company who estimates the cost of demolition. The Non-profit organization is now offering the buildings for sale at a cost of $125,000. It is quite possibly to small a sum for disassembly and moving the building to another spot. My fear is, that the architectural salvage company is the only source with capital of that nature, who also will then profit from the sale of the estate – bit by bit.
  4. Jennifer Markens
    Mar 21, 2014
    Hello, I am inquiring to see whether you can help us, or refer us to someone who can help. we have a lovely post and beam which is set on a parcel that has a right of way for high voltage transmission lines. A high volume, high pressure gas line is seeking to co-locate in the small remaining space. We live in a very rural area, and are looking to see if it is possible to dismantle the house and move it to a safe location. Please advise us if you will be so kind, if you do not do this sort of thing yourselves. There is an historic building next door that may be of interest to you. Our neighborhood is heartbroken and this idea gives us hope. 1-413-625-6895