Mental Floss

5 Large Structures That Have Been Moved Short Distances

David K. Israel
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I was driving around my neighborhood recently and discovered this creepy looking house that the city is getting ready to move across town. Still not exactly sure why (seems demolishing it would be better), but it got me thinking: what other big structures have been moved and why? Here are five that have interesting histories.

1. Belle Tout Lighthouse

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belltout /

Built in the early 1800s and located in Beachy Head, East Sussex, the Belle Tout Lighthouse was moved 56 feet in 1999 as a retreating coastline threatened its existence. The 850-ton landmark was moved using hydraulic jacks that pushed the lighthouse along four beams that were lubricated with grease.

Lighthouse fun fact: Early lighthouses like these that were built before electricity, relied on oil lamps to guide the ships. The Belle Tout Lighthouse had so many lamps, it went through 2 gallons of oil every hour.

2. Empire Theater

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3. Brown University's Peter Green House

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4. Abu Simbel

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AbuSimbelBoltonEgypt--48051241701356_crop_539_256 /

Pharaoh Ramesses II had these magnificent temples built in the 13th century BC to commemorate an alleged victory in battle. But more than three thousand years later, in 1964, they had to be cut into pieces and moved 65 meters up to higher ground to avoid flooding from construction of a nearby dam along the banks of the Nile River.

Let my temple go, already: It took 4 years to dismember the temples, number the pieces, and then reconstruct everything up at the new site.

5. Floating Church of the Redeemer

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A not-so-merry Christmas: Several years after it dropped anchor in Camden, the church was destroyed by fire on Christmas morning.

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