Now THAT'S moving house! Shoe baron's dilapidated 1880 home which was bought for $1 three years ago, cut in HALF and transported to new plot 17 blocks across Portland is magnificently restored and up for sale at $1.8m

 An Oregon shoe baron's 1880 mansion which was bought for $1 in 2017, cut in half and transported 17 blocks across downtown Portland to a new plot, is for sale for $1.8million.

Three years ago the boarded-up Victorian-era home, originally owned by local merchant Morris Marks, was seen wheeling through Downtown Portland in two pieces.

Preservationists Rick Michaelson and Karen Karlsson bought the house for a single buck after it spent a century subdivided into boarding rooms, Oregon Live reports. 

But the property, which was built in a ritzy part of Portland in the 1880s, was at risk of being demolished so they moved it to a new plot 17 blocks away.  

The house is seen above in its original plot in Downtown Portland as construction workers prepared to move it

The house is seen above in its original plot in Downtown Portland as construction workers prepared to move it

In 2017 preservationists Rick Michaelson and Karen Karlsson saved it from the wrecking ball, buying it from an owner who'd filed for a permit to demolish the Italianate house

In 2017 preservationists Rick Michaelson and Karen Karlsson saved it from the wrecking ball, buying it from an owner who'd filed for a permit to demolish the Italianate house

The historic 1880 Portland home of shoe merchant Morris Marks was cut in half, moved several blocks, and lovingly restored on its new lot, where it's now listed for sale or lease as a commercial space

The historic 1880 Portland home of shoe merchant Morris Marks was cut in half, moved several blocks, and lovingly restored on its new lot, where it's now listed for sale or lease as a commercial space


Karlsson, a development consultant, and Michaelson, preservation developer with Inner City Properties, worked with Richard De Wolf of design-build firm Arciform to overhaul the house.

'This is the most beautiful, most authentic project I've worked on,' Karlsson told Oregon Live. 'And it's a perfect post-COVID-19 office space.' 

She expects the house could function as a sort of work-from-home-away-from-home space for a company that's downsized its footprint and allowed workers to go remote.

The three-story Fried-Durkheimer House, as it's known, has expertly-restored ornate arches, bay windows, and balconies befitting its early days as a townhouse near Washington Park.

But as it was increasingly hemmed in by taller buildings, its life as a rooming house ended. The 12th Avenue house was shuttered, and squatters moved in, Michaelson told Oregon Live.


The map above shows the route the house took from its old plot to its new site. It is now on the market for $1.8million

The map above shows the route the house took from its old plot to its new site. It is now on the market for $1.8million

The owners wanted it demolished and applied for a permit. But Michaelson and Karlsson swept in with their $1 offer to rescue it. 

To save it from the wrecking ball, they reached a deal that required them to find a suitable new lot for the house and to secure $440,000 funding for permits and other expenditures. 

The new owners found that several original elements survived the century-plus: not only the architectural details on the exterior, but also the inside's original millwork and marble fireplace. 

Instead of the wrecking ball, the Fried-Durkheimer House went under the knife. The building was sliced into two 84,000lb sections before its move

Instead of the wrecking ball, the Fried-Durkheimer House went under the knife. The building was sliced into two 84,000lb sections before its move

Michaelson and Karlsson hired Oxbo Mega Transport Solutions to move the building sections five blocks east and 12 blocks south

Michaelson and Karlsson hired Oxbo Mega Transport Solutions to move the building sections five blocks east and 12 blocks south

The Ox-Bo team wheels the former Morris Marks manse across the I-405 freeway in September 2017

The Ox-Bo team wheels the former Morris Marks manse across the I-405 freeway in September 2017

The team hired Oxbo Mega Transport Solutions to move the building five blocks east and 12 blocks south, just across the I-405 freeway that loops the edge of Downtown. 

But first, Oxbo had to slice the house into two sections that each weighed 84,000lbs. 

The move went off without a hitch in September 2017.  

Its new triangular lot just south of Downtown affords the newly commercial space views from all four sides

Its new triangular lot just south of Downtown affords the newly commercial space views from all four sides

As they began renovation, its new owners found that not only the original architectural details on the exterior had survived, but so did the inside's original millwork and marble fireplace

As they began renovation, its new owners found that not only the original architectural details on the exterior had survived, but so did the inside's original millwork and marble fireplace

Today the house, now on the National Register of Historic Places, sits on its new triangular lot which affords it views from all four sides. 

Listed by Jim Brunke Real Estate, the historic building offers 3,900 square feet of office space on its two original levels plus a new ground level with a separate entrance. There are eight off-street parking spaces.

Jim Brunke says the building is also up for lease. The main house's 2,600 square feet can be had for $6,700 a month, and the lower space, with its 1,300 square feet, is on offer for $3,500 monthly.

Now THAT'S moving house! Shoe baron's dilapidated 1880 home which was bought for $1 three years ago, cut in HALF and transported to new plot 17 blocks across Portland is magnificently restored and up for sale at $1.8m Now THAT'S moving house! Shoe baron's dilapidated 1880 home which was bought for $1 three years ago, cut in HALF and transported to new plot 17 blocks across Portland is magnificently restored and up for sale at $1.8m Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 04:16 Rating: 5

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