There are many facets of historic preservation: repair, replacement, renovation, restoration, rehabilitation, and even relocation! Sarah and Keith Chilcote chose the ultimate way to preserve the 1898 West/Klein house on Oak Street SE in Salem when it was scheduled for demolition to accommodate the growth of Salem Hospital--they picked it up and moved it!
In for a penny, out for a pound--or at least the one dollar sales price--the work began. They cut through the foundation walls, removed the roof, and then folded the remaining four walls onto themselves, similar to a collapsed cardboard box. They then loaded the pieces onto flatbed trucks and drove them through town to a new address a few miles north and east--the 2900 Block of "D" Street NE! After reconstruction, this would become the Chilcote's home, and the first of three houses they would relocate to this site in order to allow these buildings to continue the use for which they were intended--sheltering Salem families. The other homes were in the way of the State of Oregon's development of the North Capitol Mall area: the 1910 German Methodist Episcopal South Church parsonage at 774 Winter Street NE, and its neighbor, the 1896 Queen-Anne-style Long/Moon house at 772.
The Chilcotes credit the success of their initial project to both their extended family, for providing them experience assisting with the relocation an earlier house, and Salem Hospital, for trusting this young couple to pull off this monumental task at all, as well as providing the demolition work. They've gone on to restore other houses that remain in place, such as the storied Lovelady house in Dallas where they lifted it up and built a basement beneath so it would stand for a few more generations. During the process of restoration, their ongoing search to locate sources of period building materials would lead them into a new business of architectural salvage, American Antique Hardware. Sarah tells us they have a website historic property owners can access, or check them out on the online auction site Ebay.
Though they say they may be done with such major projects in this season of their lives, every time they take a drive, they seem to discover another grand old lady who could be ever so much more....