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Preparations are under way for moving the historic Peavy House

Branches of the big trees that line streets on the Northwest side of Oregon State University were being trimmed Wednesday to make room: A big, historically significant house is set to be moved past them.

The 101-year-old Peavy House, located at Northwest 25th Street and Northwest Jackson Avenue, is scheduled for a move across Northwest Monroe Avenue and through a campus parking lot at 6 a.m. Sunday morning. Its new site will be an open lot at Northwest 30th Street and Northwest Johnson Avenue.

Peavy House owner Frank Crotti bought the building, most recently split into student rentals, a few weeks ago from its previous owner, John Corden, who had planned to knock down the two-story bungalow and put up six townhouse units in its place. Crotti said that Corden was happy to sell the house and save it.

The original owner was George Wilcox Peavy. He headed the forestry department in 1910 and in 1934 was named president of what was then Oregon State College. He also was elected the mayor of Corvallis in 1947. Peavy lived for many years in the house with his wife and children; he died in Corvallis on June 24, 1951.

“It’s one of those houses that has a lot of historical significance to OSU and Corvallis,” Crotti said. “It has been a real community effort to save the house.”

Big Wood Tree Expert Company began trimming branches on Tuesday and continued to trim them on Orchard Avenue Wednesday. Branches lower than 32 feet high were trimmed back to make room for the 2,900-square-foot house, which is 32 feet high and 35 feet wide.

“We’re trimming the sides of trees,” said Paul Christensen, the head climber for the tree company. That is not like topping them, which would affect the trees’ long-term viability.

According to Crotti, the house will be moved south on 25th Street, across Northwest Monroe Avenue by Chipotle and OSU Credit Union, then proceed west through the OSU parking lots along Southwest Park Terrace Place and continue west on Northwest Orchard Avenue. It will turn right on 30th and take a left onto the lot at 112 Northwest 30th street.

The house was removed from its foundation Wednesday. By Friday, it will be on the corner of 25th Street and Jackson Street, ready to be moved by Chris Schoap Building Movers to its new location.

“I’ve been back and forth making sure everything goes smoothly, Crotti said.

So far, there have been no complaints about the preparation needed to move the house by those most involved. OSU, the City of Corvallis, utility services such as Pacific Power, Century Link and Comcast, and businesses such as Chipotle and the OSU Federal Credit Union all have been cooperative.

“They realized in order to save this house from being demolished, they’d have to trim some trees,” Crotti said.

The City of Corvallis temporarily will pull out street signs during the move, said Lisa Franklin, a civil engineer in the Development Services Division. “No Parking” signs will be place in along the route in advance of the move.

Bob Richardson from the City of Corvallis Planning Division said that Crotti obtained multiple permits in order to move the house, including a historic preservation permit, a permit from the Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department to cut trees and building and demolition permits.

After the house is on its new foundation, he and his brother, Mario Crotti, plan to restore the two-story Craftsman-style bungalow from a college rental to its original configuration as a single-family house.

Coincidentally, the new location for the Peavy House is down the street from Peavy Hall, the campus building that houses forestry at OSU. “In the 20 years Peavy lived in the house, those are the years he really developed the college of forestry,” Crotti said. “[It will take] attention to detail to bring it back to what it once was.”

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