If you thought your last move was a hassle, CTA has got you beat: The agency just relocated an entire building.
For 127 years, the Vautravers Building stood at 947 W. Newport Ave. in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. It now sits roughly 30 feet to the west and 10 feet to the south after a two-day herculean effort this week to slide the 1,000-ton structure out of the way of the CTA Red and Purple Line tracks.
The Historic #Vautravers Building has arrived in its new location! In about 24 hours, the 127-year-old building was moved approximately 30 feet west and 10 feet south toward N Clark Street. Check out this time-lapse video of the move below! #CTARPM pic.twitter.com/ULToxlqgXT
— CTA Red-Purple Modernization (@CTARPM) August 3, 2021
CTA trains have curved around the building for the better part of a century, because its owners refused to sell when the rail was built. With the building now repositioned, this kink in the system will be straightened as part of the ongoing Red and Purple Modernization project, allowing trains to move through the area faster and more efficiently, officials said.
More than a dozen neighboring structures have been demolished by the CTA to make way for track upgrades, but the Vautravers Building was spared the wrecking ball thanks to the efforts of preservationists. The building is part of the Newport Avenue Chicago Landmark District, which was created in 2005.
Ward Miller, executive director of Preservation Chicago, noted that moving and lifting buildings is a Chicago specialty, something done all the time in another age, with the city at one point literally raising itself out of the mud.
“It’s Chicago ingenuity at its best,” Miller said.
We were happy to talk with @Pres_Chicago's Executive Director Ward Miller about saving the historical Vautravers Building and the importance of #preservation in #Chicago and beyond! @CTARPM pic.twitter.com/ocqlASue51
— The Walsh Group (@thebiggreenw) August 3, 2021