EVERETT — Everett’s historic Weyerhaeuser Office Building has a new home.
The 6,000-square-foot building has stood at 1710 W Marine View Drive since 1984. On Wednesday morning, it began its slow progress one mile to the north.
The building will anchor the future Boxcar Park, a piece of property out on the Central Marina owned by the Port of Everett. The park is one of the key recreational features for the planned Waterfront Place development.
The port plans to use the building as a marina club and performance venue for the new development.
“We are here creating a destination, a destination that has character and is respectful of the historical character of Everett,” said Port Commissioner Troy McClelland.
He said the port was looking into whether there was a Guinness world record for how many times a historical building has been moved. It’s now been hauled to a new location three times over its 93-year life.
“I think it’s an authentic and genuine piece of Everett’s past, and we’re proud to maintain it,” McClelland said.
This week’s move was a challenge. The port hired local house-moving firm Nickel Bros. for $1.1 million to load the 350-ton house on a trailer for its slow move north.
The company had to outfit its 24-axle trailer specifically for the job, said Nick Carpenter, an estimator for the company.
It took about six hours to re-position the trailer and the house on Wednesday. The slow crawl up Marine View Drive started at midnight and lasted until about 4 a.m.
A significant amount of the weight of the building is a 160-ton concrete safe that still sits in the building.
“It kind of throws off the center of gravity, so it’s kind of an engineering challenge,” said Les Reardanz, the CEO of the Port of Everett.
The Gothic-style building has gotten around. It was built in 1923 near Weyerhaeuser’s Mill A on the waterfront, near the present-day South Terminal of the port.
The architect, Carl F. Gould, was the founder of the University of Washington’s architecture program. Gould also designed the Everett Public Library, the Historic Everett Theatre, and numerous other buildings around the state, including 18 buildings at the UW.
The company used it to showcase various local woods used for construction, such as cedar, hemlock and fir, and as a sales office.
It was moved by barge in 1938 to the Mill B site, now the Riverside Business Park on the north edge of town.
When that sawmill closed in 1979, the old house was shuttered.
Among a group of dignitaries gathered Wednesday morning was Pat McClain, Everett’s retired executive director. In the early 1980s, he was working for the local chamber of commerce when he got a call from Weyerhaeuser.
McClain asked if they would donate the house for a dollar, and a plan to move the house a second time was set in motion. It arrived on the port’s property just south of Lombardi’s in 1984.
It became the chamber’s new office for a while, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
“It’s sort of interesting to see a decision you made 35 years ago before you again,” McClain said. “I guess it says something about sustainability.”
Jack Walkley, president of Cobra Construction, was hired to move the building to West Marine View Drive.
“We got an Alaska-going barge,” Walkley said. “Didn’t even sit three inches in the water.”