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Gallatin begins work to move Nashville Pike house

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Gallatin Public Works crews dig out the porch of a prominent home on Nashville Pike on June 2 that the city plans to relocate next month and turn into office space. /JOSH CROSS

A prominent 100-year-old house on Nashville Pike in Gallatin will be moved next month as part of the city's effort to save the building from demolition and turn it into office space for city employees.

Crews began working last week to prepare the two-story house for its relocation from the corner of Tulip Poplar Drive and Nashville Pike to Gallatin Public Works on Long Hollow Pike. The building is expected to be moved in early July.

"Once the movers get (the building) jacked up and the dollies under it, then it will essentially have a steel superstructure under it and it will start slowly moving," Public Works Superintendent Zach Wilkinson said. "It's definitely a new experience for us."

The city will have five hours to move the building across the railroad tracks behind Alexander Funeral Home on July 12. Multiple road closures are expected along Tulip Poplar Drive until the relocation is completed.

The project is estimated to cost approximately $1 million, which includes the addition of a basement and other renovation and site work to the property, according to the city's engineering department. By comparison, construction of a new building that would be 1,700 square feet smaller would cost an estimated $900,000.

"What we've been able to do is utilize this building and pay for it at really a very comparable cost to what it would have cost to build the addition," Mayor Paige Brown said about the project. "Once it's completed it... will serve the needs of this city for a lot of years to come."

The city council approved the project in March. The Sears, Roebuck and Co. house will be used by the city's engineering department, which will free up space inside city hall for the city's fire marshal and fire inspectors.

Volunteer State Bank purchased the building and 2.4 acre property from local attorney David Amonette in 2015. If the house was not moved, the bank planned to demolish it in order to make room for a new location for its Gallatin branch.

"We're moving the house to save it and I'm excited to work for a city that cares about doing that and values our older properties," Brown said. "Unfortunately, we value them because we've lost so many, but this is one we won't lose. It's a neat old home and people would have missed it if it disappeared from our city."

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