Small but Mighty
It’s a big job to move a little house, even one as tiny as Newburgh’s “Little Red Brick House.” Saving the small structure earned broad community support, garnering nearly $55,000 to move it to the Old Lock and Dam Park a mile up the Ohio River.
When a new property owner made plans to use land occupied by the diminutive landmark, a group of Newburgh residents partnered with Historic Newburgh, Inc., on the campaign to save the house. Supporters developed a plan to move the house to the park.
“We thought, gosh, this little house would be a perfect ticket booth, concession stand, welcome center to give character to the proposed amphitheater,” says Jim Renne, a resident of Newburgh and Indiana Landmarks board member who played an important role in saving the building.
Though no records exist, architectural clues – including chiseled limestone steps and lintels, and locally kiln-fired bricks – place construction of the house (just 300 square feet) in the mid 1800s. At one time, the house was entirely enclosed by later additions. A fire in the 1980s destroyed the additions, revealing the original historic structure.
Workers completed preparations for moving the building, including removing and storing the wooden porch, repairing brick, and installing supports at windows and doors for stability during the slow ride to the new location. MCF Construction prepared a new foundation for the house at the Old Lock and Dam Park, and Wolfe House & Building Movers will transport the building, tentatively scheduled for the first week in December.
Once on its new site, the little brick house will join a complex of historic buildings that includes a log cabin, cottages and a lockmaster’s house.
See a rendering of the Little Red Brick House in place at the proposed amphitheater at www.historicnewburgh.org. For more information, contact Historic Newburgh, Inc., 812-853-2815.
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