Cut in Two, Historic Home Will Join Evening Traffic as It's Moved a Mile Up Fair Oaks Avenue

Historic Frank Decker home to be relocated for affordable housing project

Published : Thursday, May 30, 2019 | 4:44 AM

Motorists traveling on Fair Oaks Avenue late Thursday evening between Orange Grove Boulevard to just north of Hammond Street might think they’re seeing things, like houses cruising up the street.

They can rest assured that’s exactly what they’re seeing.

Heritage Housing Partners will be moving the historic landmark Frank Decker House north from 722 North Fair Oaks Avenue to 1661 North Fair Oaks Avenue, a distance of just over one mile. The Decker home will then become two two-bedroom condominiums, as part of a nine-unit affordable home ownership development called Decker Court.

According to City officials and historians, the city-owned Decker House is the former home of the cigar shop owner Frank Decker and his wife Anna, the first occupants after it was built in 1892. It is revered by many as one of Pasadena’s treasured Victorian-era buildings.

The move brings together the City’s history and future, as well as creates new affordable housing, said Jessica Ferree, project manager at Heritage Housing Partners Wednesday.

Ferree explained that new housing could be built on the new development site instead, but moving the Decker Home serves to repurpose Pasadena’s past.

“I think we all have an interest in historic preservation and just how historic buildings bring character to a neighborhood,” she said.

“We’re losing that a lot because there’s just a lot of new development in Pasadena,” continued Ferree, “and we feel that this is a good way to knit the community back together.”

Ferree estimated the cost of the move to be about $150,000.

The two-and-a-half story, 3,316 square-foot Decker House was built in 1892 and was designated by the City as a historic resource in 1988. The house is a Queen Anne style home with a one-story wrap-around porch with turned-wood posts, and wood siding with patterned ornamental shingles on the gabled ends, and a host of additional design features.

Brandt House & Building Movers will begin moving the building  at 10 p.m. on Thursday. In order to clear various obstacles, the building will be moved in two pieces. According to Heritage Housing, the relocation will be completed by approximately 4 a.m. on Friday, May 31.

No closures of streets are expected, as the load should only be occupying one direction of traffic, and electrical power in the area will not be disrupted, said Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian.

Police are on standby in case they are needed during the procedure.

“This is not anticipated, however, as the house moving company will have guide vehicles and there are easy alternative routes around the house during the time of its move,” said Traffic Section’s Lt. Mark Goodman.

The Decker Court project is scheduled for completion in Spring 2020.

Applications for purchase of the affordable home ownership units will be available in early 2020, and interested home buyers may sign-up on HHP’s Interest List (www.hhplist.org) to receive further information.  These are for first time home buyers who are income qualified.

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