You kids with your U-Hauls, feh, in my day, we moved our entire house - and we liked it!

Moving a house in East Boston

The Boston City Archives have posted a couple of photos from Sept. 13, 1950, when somebody decided they had to move a house in East Boston, from 408 Frankfort St. to 2 Milton St. (which no longer appears to exist).

Moving a house in East Boston





Better yet

This is much closer (right around the corner!): IMAGE(

(thanks, Elmer for the image)



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this road wasn't there yet in 1950...

High Density Mobile Home Concept

Stack three trailers and hit the road! What could possibly happen?

The first time I set foot in a triple decker, it was in the late 1980s and during the "wood paneling everywhere" era of decor that corresponded with heavy indoor cigarette use.

It reminded me of the trailer I grew up in, but with stairs and bigger rooms: shotgun layout, kitchen at one end, bedrooms lined up like bowling pins, one small bathroom.

I suspect this building may have been moved to accommodate the extensive expansion and reorganization of Logan Armpit and the rerouting of the T line to create an Airport station, if not some ill-fated highway project associated with both 1A and the airport. From the google, it looks like the now empty lot is adjacent to the Wood Island T station - everything in that entire space between 1A and the blue line except 406 Frankfort is gone and much of it is signed in an official sort of way.

UPDATE: I switched to satellite view - much more recent - and 406 (erroneously marked 408) is now gone, with an outline where it was, and the area is now a park.


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Trolley vs house!


Moving houses not unusual years ago

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I recall a number of houses that were moved on flatbed trucks for various reasons years ago. I haven't seen it lately. It often required utility companies to raise or remove wires along the way, road closings, police details etc. It might be cheaper now just to build a new house. I'd be curious to learn when the last house was moved locally.


quite a sight

I lived at Mass Ave x Chauncy at the time- imagine waking up on the couch, bleary-eyed after a late night out, and the first thing you see is a house moving by out the window. Took about a full minute to figure out/remember what the hell was happening.

Many moved in MIssion Hill

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In the area around Brigham and Women's, several triple deckers have been shifted around the neighborhood in the last 30 years. About the only way to tell is to look for the ones with poured concrete foundations.

Back when

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Back when you could do such a thing and not be a total money suck.

Now... you gotta coordinate with the power company, the cable company, the phone company, your city, and any other company where they would be affected by your moving house taking down their wires.

(in short, we have far too many cables running everywhere along streets now to even think about doing this.. the house move in Cambridge cost $$$$$$$$$$$ because of all the coordination it needed)

But man to move a triple decker... thats impressive.


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I've heard of moving a single-family house on a flat-bed truck (in fact, there were a couple of instances in my old home town of Lincoln, MA., where that happened.), but this:

But man, to move a triple decker...that's impressive

is totally beyond belief.

Oddly common in the Victorian era

When I was preparing to sell my late parents' home, the realtor did some research on the house and property. It had originally been constructed on the next street down the hill, but on the same block, in 1890. In 1905, a house burned down up the hill, and the owner moved the entire house up the hill to where it is now - the burned down house's former spot! Then he built a 4 unit apartment building in its place.

Not as big as a triple decker, but a two-story 2000 sq ft gambrel about 2/3 the size!

The realtor wasn't surprised at all - it was strangely common in that era to transfer houses around a neighborhood to either get them on to better lots or to open up space for larger dwellings.

Looks like they moved the whole block

Up to a couple of years ago, the only remaining house was at 406, and now that's gone too.

I suspect that the state paid to move all of them from that area, probably something to do with Rt. 1A, Wood Island MBTA, and/or Logan or one of the other various pave it all schemes of the time.


Wood Island T?

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Looking at old maps, it appears that 408 Frankfort, and maybe some neighbors, were moved to make way for the bus ramps associated with the Wood Island subway station, which was under construction around 1950. The current bus ramps were reconfigured a few years ago, but that station always had an elaborate system of ramps. They were originally built for trackless trolleys. Satellite photos from 1995 show the ramps under reconstruction.

At the other end of the move, Milton Street got renamed to become part of Horace Street. The 2 Milton Street address appears to be in error, as the current house at that address (that is, 2 Horace St., from Google Street View) is a mirror image of the one shown in the photo. But the next door house at 4 Horace looks pretty similar to the one in the photo, even to some of the details of the trim and the windows on the right side, except that some of the front windows must have been altered and simplified.

Perhaps they moved a couple of houses from Frankfort St. to Milton/Horace St., and the photo caption got written down in error -- for example, 408 Frankfort to 4 Milton, and 410 Frankfort to 2 Milton, or some such.


Milton Street?

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Moved to Milton Street? I'm assuming they're not talking about the Milton Street down off of Gallivan by the Neponset. A Milton Street would make sense in Eastie (along with Coleridge, Byron, Homer, Moore, Wordsworth, Chaucer, Swift, etc.) but I can't find it. Did Milton get sucked into some other urban renewal project or is that caption from the archives messed up?

EDIT: Just read above -- the answer is there if you but read, grasshopper.

Moving Buildings

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I was always told that my great-grandfather's triple decker at 428 Frankfort Street got moved to somewhere "over by the poet streets" - I think maybe Coleridge. According to U.S. City directories they were living there in 1951 and then elsewhere in 1952 - so that puts it during this same construction activity. The house would have been where the treed buffer area is around Wood Island station.

Over on Coleridge Street there is a row of triple deckers that are angled to the street and generously spaced (backing right up onto the park on the water) that are prime suspects for the final resting place of these move-jobs. Anyone know for sure?

I suspect airport land taking

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I suspect airport land taking had at least something to do with it - take your choice of future space, buffer space, community comp open space, easier than paying noise abatement/vibration damage costs on an ongoing basis, and even remotely possible that it has something to do with structure height within a certain distance from a runway.

Google street views have those last two triple-deckers in views from 2007/2011.

Also, looking at the current satellite view of Neptune Road Airport Edge Buffer Park - you can see the footprints of those last two triple-deckers.

Overheard at Boylston Station

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Overheard at Boylston Station...

Classic streetcar talking to passing Type VIII: "In my day, we carried a full load of people AND towed a house behind us. You young whippersnappers today, you can't even get through a shift in a heatwave without your fancy circuit breakers popping. Grumble, grumble....."

Speaking of Boylston and Moving

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Back when the trolley was just about to go underground for the first time the then predacessor to the predacessor to the T {I think that's the right level of precedence] moved a graveyard and a large building to make room for the construction of Boylston Station

t's left to the reader to find and fill-in the details:

  1. What company did the moving
  2. What company paid for it
  3. Which building[s] were moved
  4. Extra credit what organization owns the buildings now