Historic 400,000 pound house wheeled to new San Jose State location

A massive house was pulled through the middle of a San Jose street Saturday morning. It’s not something you see every day, or really ever, but it is something to pull yourself out of bed for, “I think it an absolute wonderful sight to see I got up early just to see it,” said Peter Smith of San Jose.

The house was San Jose State’s Associated Students House. It was moved from Fourth and San Carlos Streets to near East San Antonio and South 10th Streets.

Putting the historic house on another side of campus makes room for a new project, a $181 million science building, but San Jose State wanted to make sure to preserve the structure.

“All of these folks have been working for a year to make this happen so that it’s relatively seamless,” said Charlie Faas, Vice President of Administration and Finance.

It was relatively seamless, but still some issues popped up. The turn from San Fernando onto Ninth Street proved to be difficult. PG&E de-energized power lines as the house couldn’t clear the turn without hitting them. Tree trimmers also came in to cut down branches to clear a path onto campus.

Moving the 400,000 pound, 6,500 square foot house around city streets was a process. A platform was built underneath then it was lifted and placed on dollies, “It took about three weeks of hard labor underneath the house. We’ve been over there jack hammering, pushing beams for weeks,” said contractor Bill Brown.

Crowds of people lined the streets to get a glimpse of the slow moving house make its way to a standby location on campus. In a month the house will be put on the foundation and will be re-opened by June.

“I’m so happy they’re moving it and not taking it out,” said Margaret Brown of San Jose.