Brown University recently announced a scheme to sell off three historic houses on Brook Street and Charlesfield Street to make way for two new residence halls. The houses will be sold for $10 each if the new owner will move them off-site, at their own cost, to a new location. This is an incredible opportunity in a place like Providence where the market for houses is so tight. Investors and prospective homeowners have reached out to us to ask for advice on getting in on this deal.
And what a deal it is! $10 for over 5000 square feet of living space for each house. That’s $0.02 per square foot. That’s a steal compared to the going rate of $250 per square foot. And, with their early twentieth-century Queen Anne and Colonial Revival styling, modern two-family layouts, classic New England cedar shake siding, beautiful bay windows, symmetrical side entry porches, and leaded transom windows, you would be getting far more an average house.
While saving a historic house seems like a no brainer, moving a building is much more involved than you might imagine.
Here are some things to consider:
Moving a building makes perfect sense in some cases – if you need to move your house a few feet in from an eroding coastline, or if it needs to be moved out of a flood zone. If you are a non-profit organization working to save a building, state and local authorities may waive some of their requirements. Either way, contact David Sisson Architects to help you develop a plan of action.