Old house relocates from 21st and Colorado
In the wee hours of June 11, a house that had stood at 21st Street and Colorado Avenue since 1898 found a new address at 1128 Calvert St.
The slow procession south on 21st Street and across Highway 24 was overseen by professional building mover Ron Hall, shepherded by area law enforcement officers and kept honest by crews from Colorado Springs Utilities, Comcast and Qwest, who had to make sure that overhead lines en route provided the necessary 23-foot clearance for the old bungalow on its semi-drawn trailer.
The move cost owner Krag Beverly $25,000, but to his mind it was worth it. The old stone foundation had been crumbling, and it would have cost nearly that amount to put in a new one, he explained.
He had lived in the 1,113-square-foot house at 2102 W. Colorado Ave. for the past five years - part of the time with his college-age son - and hopes to resume residence at the new site. He gave other common-sense reasons for moving the building - including less noise at the Calvert address (located a half-block from Midland Elementary) - but Jean Stahler, his real-estate agent, thinks Beverly has developed an emotional attachment to the dwelling.
Noting that she once suggested to him that he tear it down and build anew, she quoted his reply as: “Oh no, I love that old house.”
The move June 11 attracted a small crowd of onlookers, even though the show didn't actually begin until about 1:30 a.m. In fact, it very nearly didn't happen at all because of a communication shortfall resulting in no one from Qwest being on hand at the planned starting time of midnight. Fortunately, one of the Comcast technicians knew a Qwest supervisor's number, and eventually the company's entourage arrived.
Beverly has lived on the Westside about 20 years. He is an engineer, currently contracting with Intel.
A step he took before the move was to research the house's history. He found it is historically significant, though not in a major way . As historian Mel McFarland relates in his Cobweb Corners column in this week's Westside Pioneer, an early resident of the house was a longtime employee of the Colorado Midland railroad. The place has been “mostly a rental property since the '60s,” Beverly said.
With the house in a highly visible location at a major intersection, it had been the subject of considerable neighborhood speculation after it went up on blocks in April.
Now people can begin offering ideas for the future of the empty lot where the old house stood.
Krag has not made a final decision on his plans for the site, but said he is thinking about developing a small commercial building. The C-5 zoning would allow that, although setback variances would probably be needed because of parking requirements and the relatively limited amount of space (5,400 square feet). In any case, he'd like any new structure to have “a little Colorado City style,” possibly with an upstairs residential loft, Beverly said.
Part of the house-move operation included pouring a foundation at Calvert Street that matched its shape. A previously built garage stands at the rear of the 7,000- square property.
Now that the building has arrived at its new home, plans calls for a garden-level unit to be built below it, thus turning the property into a duplex. But for now, Stahler said it's nice just to enjoy the successful move. Viewing the old house at the new location, she said, “It looks like it's always been there.”
Westside Pioneer article