Fried Cottage, built in 1898 and located just off of Hope’s campus, is a historic house, and this summer it was approved to be moved from 112 E. 12th St. to 337 Columbia Ave., a vacant lot owned by the college. This move places it across the street from the Hope’s new Men of Color Cottage, which is part of Hope’s vision for more diversity and inclusion in its off-campus
Structurally speaking, this move was risky in that the house is built from entirely brick, and with the house’s brick and mortar having aged over time, the house itself very easily could have crumbled during the moving process. Because of these facts, there was valid concern by many Hope students who were aware of the move and concerned that the house would not survive the quarter mile journey across campus. Despite this, the plans were forged and the move was set to go.
The movers’ navigational plan required that the structure parlay through the concrete area between Kollen Hall and the DeWitt Center, which required the removal of many trees in the area, many of which ere bulldozed to make room for the hulking structure. The process began weeks in advance when the foundation was dug out, exposing the underbelly of the house. The house was then raised up off its foundation and wheels were fastened in place, similar to training wheels on a bicycle. At this point, the house would remain, ready to be moved, until the time came.
Fast forward to moving day and Fried Cottage slowly but surely began to move, leaving its old home behind and moving towards its new resting place. Once the house made it to the street, the journey’s most difficult part was still to come: navigating the narrow street, past the Dow and on towards Columbia Ave. Once this was accomplished, the house had to first rest in the lawn of the Men of Color Cottage to allow the structure to re-settle. Finally it was moved into place with the under-structure already dug. The wheels will remain on until the foundation is built, and hopefully, by this winter or early 2019, the house will be cemented into the ground.
A statement issued by the college via Facebook, read: “All 230 tons of Fried Cottage made its first moves toward the Columbia Avenue curb. The house traveled south on Columbia on August 16th to its new location facing 14th Street at Columbia Avenue.”
It has been said that the cottage, now at its permanent new location, will not be in use for at least another year; until then, it will serve simply as a placeholder for what is to come. Go to see the house on wheels. It is a unique site on Hope’s campus.