Osceola County Historical Society Blog

9 Things We Learned from Moving Historic Buildings

Posted by Donnita Dampier on May 27, 2014 5:30:00 PM


Moving buildings, historic or not, is not a job for the average DIYer. It’s something that needs a professional’s touch but can teach you many things along the way. Here is a rundown of the things the Osceola County Historical Society has learned from moving historic buildings in Osceola County that could save your family time and money when considering a move with your own local gem.

moving historic buildings

  1. It is expensive. The cost to move a building from from point A to point B might not be that much, especially when the route is a clear shot and not far away, but the cost to merely lift the building can be quite costly. The total project cost to move our historic buildings from their original location to their new spots at the Shingle Creek Regional Part was $1.4 million with the Osceola County Tourism Development Tax funding the move. To move just the Cadman House it cost $51,000.

  2. You need permits. There are fees you will rack up with the county in order to move a building from one location to another. Besides these fees, there are other costs that accumulate from having to disconnect and reconnect electrical, plumbing and other utilities. 

  3. Bees are not always easy keepers. An older building (one that has been in its current location for a number of years) can be home to many little creatures. When preparing an old  building to move, everything comes out of the woodworks. Literally. There were bees living in the walls of the Partin House that had to be relocated by a bee keeper (again, another cost of this move that might not have been thought of at first). 

  4. It takes a Village. This old saying is true for moving buildings, too. In order to move historic buildings there has to be partnerships established with many different people and organizations including the county, a historic structure preservationist and a historic structure moving company.

  5. Prep work takes longer than the move. When moving historic buildings, years of planning is involved. During the beginning stages there had to be a historic structures report, artist renderings, architecture plans, site plans and visits. Months prior to the move buildings had to be inspected, routes determined and permits pulled. Just days before, the buildings were lifted, trucks hooked up and the buildings finally began their journey.

  6. You’d be surprised what you can get on a flatbed truck. Sometimes size can be deceiving. During our move, we were able to use one truck to get the job done. The Cadman House was separated into three sections, each section fitting on the back of the truck and requiring three trips to get them all back together at the new location.

  7. Police escorts bring attention. Moving a historic building means safety is key, and having police escorts as you travel means all eyes are on you. Almost like you are famous or something.

  8. You might get followed. If you put a sign on a moving building that says, “Follow me to…” people will actually follow you. We had added signs to the back of our buildings to grab the attention of the community as they were rolling down the road to inform them as to why the buildings were moving. The funny part came when some people actually did follow us to the new location.

  9. Blue tarps aren't only used after hurricanes. In Florida, we see blue tarps and associate them with roof damage after hurricanes. When the Cadman House was moved, a blue tarp was installed as a temporary roof until restoration could be complete. No hurricane to blame for this one.



Moving these historic buildings has been no small feat and has taken much planning, preparation and hard work of many. In doing so though, the buildings can now serve the community as authentic period-style museums for residents and visitors to learn from at their new residence in the Shingle Creek Regional Park. This is set to be ready for the public November 2014.


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Topics: Osceola History, Around Osceola, Historic Buildings, The Pioneer Village

About this Blog

The Osceola County Historical Society is focused on preserving Osceola County’s rich, cultural history while sharing it with others. This blog is perfect for just that. 

Remember, here you can find information on:

  • Osceola County History
  • Pioneer Families
  • Events at the Welcome Center and History Museum
  • Much, much more!

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