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Project to move house eight feet for townhouse addition underway on 18th Ave E


An 18th Ave house was prepared for a big move this week — of eight feet. The two-story, 2,500 square-foot house at 122 18th Ave E was jacked up four feet in preparation for a few-meter move to make room for a three-story townhouse structure in what was the house’s backyard.

A blog post by a former resident of the house documented the first phase of the project that began last week:

I was until recently among a crazy troupe of rag-tag whippersnappers who shared a dream: to live affordably on Capitol Hill in a free-love commune, throwing wild parties yet responsibly engaging with our community and the environment. We named our hilltop palace Acropolis, but our Gods did not demand sacrifice. We were starry-eyed lute-toting moon sailors with a heading fixed on paradise.

That utopian fantasy was not realized for at least twice as many reasons as you can imagine, and one of them is this: our landlords bought the house in order to literally lift and move it west about three meters in order to build a condominium in the backyard. Only in the GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH, right? We all cleared out as agreed when it came time to do this move, and I was lucky enough to witness and document the first phase of it yesterday: the Raising.

CHS reported on the project from Capitol Hill architect Brad Khouri and developer Graham Black last summer.

“It really great way to find that the balance of retaining character and historical reference, and finding that density to make Seattle an exciting, and maybe more chaotic, place to live,” Black said at the time.

The new townhouses will be 1,600-1,700 square-feet and priced around $500,000; the existing home will be priced around $700,000.

As for the logistics, the building was raised by slipping steel beams under the structure of the home and lifting it a few feet with hydraulic house lifting jacks the size of semi trucks. Next comes the positioning of big rollers as a new foundation is poured. The company executing the maneuver will then roll the house over, re-brace it with the jacks and lower it down.

We’ll keep our eyes peeled for another blog update with the rest of the show.


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12 thoughts on “Project to move house eight feet for townhouse addition underway on 18th Ave E

  1. As someone who lives directly accross from this house in another Classic Seattle Box I am very excited that this fine old house will remain part of the street. I am not a huge fan of Mr. Khouris designs but at least he isn’t building an Apodment tower on the property! So far the workers on the project are doing an amazing job.

    As for the “commune” that was there temporarily last year I can honestly say I have NEVER encountered more inconsiderate neighbors anywhere that I have lived on Capitol Hill (13 places in 30 years)our normally quiet block was turned upside down by these people and their all nighters and I for one am glad they are gone. The noise coming from that house was UNREAL. Think Animal House but WAY worse!

    I feel sorry for whoever lives next door to them now…………….

  2. Glad to see this house being shifted rather than leveled. If we must grow dense, at least these homes are being preserved. This doesn’t happen enough on the hill.

  3. As someone who visited the Acropolis, I can honestly say that the tenants did make every attempt to be open and communicate with their neighbors about the time and length of any parties. If you were to passive aggressive to speak up, it is then your problem, not theirs.

  4. I am very glad that the house will endure. It looks as though it was probably designed by architect Victor Voorhees, based on pattern book plans that he created, (1907 to 1911). There are several in this part of Capitol Hill and I really love them.

  5. No passive aggression here. Several times I went over or called and asked them to lower the noise level, never to any real effect. Before work resulted in me moving away, I was getting close to calling police. My wife and I called them “loud house” and I’m not sorry that they’re gone.

  6. Both this house and the red one across the street were built before Voorhees pattern books came out (1903 and 1905) so they could have been early examples of his work which proved wildly popular in the neighborhoods to the north. Fred Fehren was another popular architect who did similar houses as well. Original cost of construction was around $2500!

    Both houses are in great condition and many of their interior details remain. Glad that they will continue to be a “gift to the street.”

    As far as the former tenants go I think that “wild parties” pretty much sums up their behavior and why the neighbors are breathing a sigh of relief in their absence.

    Typical EW behavior. It is all about THEM.

  7. Sure, you can honestly say that the tenants made every attempt to be open and communicative (at least after the first party). But passing out flyers that say: “we are having a party on friday” doesn’t make it “open” or “communicative”. The Seattle noise ordinance laws in residential areas are unambiously clear:

    Flame throwers at 4AM with dozens of loud people around them is clearly unlawful. Being communicative about being unlawful doesn’t make things legal, or courteous, or “open” or “communicative”. I don’t like calling the police on people so I didn’t (and don’t), but to say I am “too passive aggressive to speak up” and therefore it is my problem and not theirs, is ridiculous, considering it is an UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY. So maybe this is an extreme analogy but if someone shoots you in the face, but you’re too passive aggressive to speak up, then is it your fault?

  8. Yes, flyers saying how “community-centered” and “sustainable” (talk about over-used buzzwords!)the parties really don’t cut the mustard when you are being kept up all night by “wild parties” thrown by oafish “whippersnappers”. Police were called repeatedly (as were the do-nothing landlords); this neighbor is glad to see the last of these thoughtless “moon-sailors” who neither engaged the community nor the environment in any meaningful or even respectful way. Good riddance!

  9. Pingback: A rowhouse mini-explosion in Capitol Hill helping to transform single-family home blocks | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle