Curious pedestrians and frustrated drivers were a common sight on John Street this past Saturday morning, however the closing of a stretch of road was probably the smallest of the many hurdles involved in the task at hand. Last August, we covered the move of a heritage structure from the west side of John to a temporary location across the street. This was necessary for excavation to begin for The Pinnacle on Adelaide, a 43-storey condominium by Vancouver-based Pinnacle International.

Heritage House on Adelaide preparing to move, image by Jack Landau

This semi-detached two-storey home was built by contractor Richard West in 1869. Its symmetrical window placement and red brick design with yellow brick detailing make it a definitive example of mid-19th century residential architecture. Its age alone was arguably enough to earn it a heritage designation — which didn't occur until 2005.

Pinnacle on Adelaide construction site, image by Jack Landau

Thirteen months since the initial move, Pinnacle on Adelaide's foundations have been laid and construction has reached the surface. Pefferlaw-based Danco House Raising & Moving was once again on the scene to move the structure back across the street using their massive 40-wheeled rig complete with hydraulic jacks.

Beginning to roll the house across to its final site, image by Jack Landau

The 133-year-old Richard West House took just under four hours to be carefully maneuvered into position. Throughout the process, workers strategically placed wooden boards in front of the rig's tires to keep the ground even as it moved forward — a sudden change in grade would have jeopardized the move.

Moving the house across Adelaide, image by Jack Landau

Moving the house across Adelaide, image by Jack Landau

Preparing to set the house down on-site, image by Jack Landau

Detail of 40-wheeled rig, image by Jack Landau

Resting approximately 57 metres south of its original location, the building will be fully incorporated as retail space into the Hariri Pontarini designed Pinnacle on Adelaide.

Setting the house down in its final position, image by Jack Landau

The heritage house and its new neighbour, image by Jack Landau

Related Companies:  Hariri Pontarini Architects, Jablonsky, Ast and Partners, Janet Rosenberg & Studio, U31