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Please Save These Old Houses in California

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old House Inspection, Old Houses, Old House Construction, Old House Musings, In The News, Old House History

There are two old houses in California that need help. Both of these homes are over 100 years old and are City of Berkeley landmarks. If you need a home and live anywhere near Berkeley, or you know of anyone in that area who needs a home, then one of these might be just the ticket!

The University of California is requesting proposals to move the homes from their present location. If you submit a proposal you must also submit a plan for moving them, and a location where they are going. You can submit a proposal for just one or for both, proposals must be submitted by November 16, 2009. They would like the houses to be removed by May 15, 2010 if possible. They will accept proposals for as low as one dollar for each house; there is one catch though, and that is you must also be able to place a bank check for $50,000.00 into escrow with the university. The escrow may be used for relocation costs once the operation is underway enough that the university is comfortable the move is happening.

Moving houses is expensive, but if you or someone who would like a home live close enough to the homes, it can definitely be worth while, especially if you get a house for a dollar. I have read articles about moving homes even by barge on the water, and I have been involved in moving one house over the road. The key is picking a route that will not involve having to disrupt a lot of utilities for the move, and that the roads are wide enough for the home to pass through. The houses are available for inspection by appointment.

Both of these homes appear to be very nice, one is presently empty and one is being used by the university for office space. Anyone interested in the houses can view Berkeley’s Requests for Proposals, which includes descriptions of the houses and photos of the exteriors. The school’s Historic Studies and Reports goes into the historic significance of the homes. If you go to the historic link first, the addresses of the homes are 2241 and 2243 College Avenue; there are other houses and buildings on the report also. The historic survey goes into fascinating detail about the history of the entire Berkeley area as well as the two houses.

These are two old houses that deserve to survive, and whoever gets them will own a piece of California’s history. There is no reason why with a little bit of work these old houses can’t survive and be a family’s home for another 100 years.

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  1. 2 Responses  to “Please Save These Old Houses in California”

  2. Randall
    Aug 29, 2011
    Lisa has a good idea in taking it to the board at the university. Although you may not win to keep the houses where they are, you could possibly extend some time for someone to come swoop them up, or figure out how to get that 50,000 check. Berkley should do something with these houses themselves, wouldn't their architecture school want to do something with them, renovate it into a greek house?
  3. Lisa Scofield
    Aug 29, 2011
    This is such an incredible opportunity to preserve history. I have to believe that an appeal to the university would do some good, as they seem like they would support such a movement. I know how the wheels of bureaucracy turn, but surely the value of antique homes would win the day. Only the voice of the people will make the difference.