Church Cut In Half To Make Way For New Street (Dec, 1936)

Church Cut In Half To Make Way For New Street

ONE of the most unusual engineering feats in recent years was the moving of a 4,000,000-pound Detroit church steeple to make way for a wider street. The 180-foot stone tower was moved by seven men while hundreds of breathless spectators looked on. Working under the direction of Carl F. Henrichsen and Carl A. Johnson, veteran building movers, the men first cut out a 27-foot section of the church so that the front could be moved back the same amount. The front portion was then jacked up and placed on skids. Inch by inch the Structure was moved by man power until it was against the rear portion of the church after which the skids were removed and foundation cemented fast. Due to danger of the slightest jar toppling steeple, it was necessary to eliminate all machinery.

  1. JediaKyrol says: July 21, 201112:24 pm

    nowadays they’d just give up and tear down the whole church.

  2. Pwilliam56 says: July 21, 201112:36 pm

    And this one still stands:

    Another view of the project:


  3. Toronto says: July 21, 20111:06 pm

    There’s a building – no name, nothing special – near St. Lawrence Market in Toronto that’s being partially saved. At the moment, the second floor brick facade of the east side is “floating” in air on a shiny new steel beam, with no first floor visible. It’s a bit odd to say the least.

    But people can and do go to extraordinary lengths to preserve stuff sometimes.

  4. David Moisan says: July 27, 20115:57 am

    In Salem, Mass., we had a church that needed to be moved a few tens of feet to accommodate the new court complex next door.

    Sounds easy.

    This church was nothing but a hollow brick box! No structural beams.

    A similar building in NY state collapsed when it was being moved.

    It was reinforced with steel beams for the move. It was moved successfully.

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