A Victorian house in Oakland in an unknown state of repair is being offered for free to any taker who will pay to have it relocated.
In a move to placate preservationists who don't want to see a historic home demolished, a developer in Oakland has posted a notice outside 2428 Chestnut Street (technically it's been known as 2420 Chestnut Street) — between 24th and 26th streets in West Oakland — advertising "FREE HOUSE - MUST BE MOVED."
According to Oakland Planning Commission documents, the property at 2420 Chestnut and the lots adjacent to it are set to become a 12-unit townhouse development. The three-story project, which also includes a community room that backs up to Linden Street, was recommended for approval in April.
The unoccupied, one-story home is raised above street level on piers and is accessible by stairs. Planning documents indicate it was construction here in 1887 or 1888, and it is considered a Potential Designated Historic Property (PDHP). An analysis suggests that while the building is considered a representative example from the period, it does not qualify to be listed by the California Register of Historical Resources. But regulations require the developer to make a good-faith effort to have the home relocated — hence the advertisement.
Of course, moving an intact historic home is a terrifically complicated and expensive undertaking, so this seems like a long-shot offer unless someone were really in love with this home.
Anyone interested is told to contact Alex Walter at 609-707-7644.
Back in February, a 139-year-old Victorian home at 807 Franklin Street in San Francisco was moved, at great expense and logistical headache, to 635 Fulton Street, about five blocks away. Hoodline documented the slow and arduous process, and that was for an admittedly more historically significant house.
The Italianate house was moved next door to a former mortuary building on Fulton with some similar architectural character, and the two structures will be combined to create a 17-unit, multi-family residential building.