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In a brief and dramatic moment at sunrise this morning, a 104-year-old Craftsman bungalow moved from the north to the south side of East Roosevelt Street.  The Joseph W. Wurth House, formerly located at 314 E Roosevelt Street is now at it’s new permanent location across the street at 401 E Roosevelt Street.

Originally built in 1911, the Joseph W. Wurth House was donated by Sam and Debra Moyer in memory of Vic Armstrong. John McCullough, owner of McCullough Move-A-Home, oversaw the lifting and relocation of the building. Now retiring, this building relocation will be the last of more than 200 structures that McCullough has relocated over the course of his long and accomplished career.

House moving Roosevelt Row Esser

Photo courtesy of Roosevelt Row CDC

The new location for the property housed a commercial structure  that was demolished by prior owners in 2001 and has been vacant since. The lot and Wurth House are currently owned by Kimber Lanning, owner and operator of the adjacent Modified Arts gallery. Future use of the Wurth House is yet to be determined.

“When the building was slated to be demolished, I knew something needed to be done,” says Lanning. “The house matches the character of this area better than any new construction could, and replaces an empty dirt lot with a beautiful structure.”

East Roosevelt was closed to traffic by the City of Phoenix, while steel plates were placed to protect existing sidewalks. Overhead power lines had to be temporarily relocated by APS in order to accommodate the relocation of the building. Lorenzo Perez, co-owner of Venue Projects who provided the development of the house’s new foundation, is eager for the once vacant home to have new life.

“The Wurth House provides a missing tooth on Roosevelt Street,” says Perez. “It marries an old structure on a vacant parcel, activating an important corner of the community, and continues an on-going legacy made by artists in the area.”

The surrounding community suffered several decades of decline and blight, revitalized by artists who began occupying formerly vacant buildings in the mid-1990’s, creating galleries and studio spaces. Currently, the Roosevelt Row Artists District is home to over 100 local businesses supporting arts and culture.

“This relocation represents a significant moment in the more than century-long history of the area,” says Greg Esser, co-founder of Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. “It preserves a significant structure that contributes to a more vibrant, walkable community for future generations.”