‘Like moving a herd of elephants’: San Francisco’s history of houses on wheels

This weekend, the city moved a Victorian house six blocks – a practice that has continued for more than a century

Hundreds of San Franciscans lined the streets on Sunday – phones drawn and ready – to glimpse a unique procession slowly making its way through the city. “Ladies and gentlemen, please stand on the sidewalk,” a police speaker blared. “There’s a house coming down the street.”

The two-story, 5,170-sq-ft green Victorian, known as the Englander House, had spent more than a century in the heart of San Francisco. But for years it stood vacant and fell into disrepair, sandwiched behind a gas station and loomed over by new apartment buildings. The city, which suffers from a housing shortage, was ready to build a 48-unit building in its place.

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