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PHOTOS: Odette’s Building In New Hope on the move Wednesday

Odette’s building making the turn north onto River Road.

The historic Odette’s Restaurant building at 274 River Road in New Hope was on the move Wednesday morning, on its way up the road to its new home at the American Legion property at the corner of Riverwoods Drive and South Main Street.

Odette’s ready to leave its existing site.

Developer Gateway to New Hope LLC is moving the historic stone structure to make way for its planned Riverhouse at Odette’s conference center.

The operation required the full closure of River Road/Main Street (State Route 32) from Aquatong Road to Bridge St. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Traffic redirected via West Bridge Street, Route 202, and Aquetong Road. 

Odette’s climbs the incline to Route 32 (River Road).

Spectators were allowed to watch from behind barricades at Route 232, Riverwoods Drive and South Main Street.

Odette’s heads out on the highway.

The circa-1784 tavern was moved using 18 remote-controlled hydraulic dollies.

The dollies connect to the steel structure beneath, and become a sort of self-propelled trailer, steered by remote control.

The moving structure took up the entire width of River Road.

Once on River Road, the structure on its moving base moved at only a few miles per hour, adjusting its path slightly from side to side to barely clear telephone poles.

At its new location on the American Legion property, the building will be used by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, possibly as office space.

Odette’s reaches its new home. (Photo: New Hope Borough Police)

Wolfe House & Building Movers of Bernville performed the relocation of the circa-1784 tavern to the American Legion property. In business since the 1960s, family-owned Wolfe is the biggest operation of its kind in America, and now manufactures house moving equipment used throughout the industry.

Sales Manager Mike Brovont says that stone buildings like Odette’s are the most time-consuming type of structure to move.

“We had to shim between the beam and stone wall with wooden shims and mortar grout to create a solid bearing surface to lift on.”

The building was then lifted up and steel girders placed beneath in preparation for the move.

Brovont says the work is demanding, but rewarding.

“The part of the job I like most is being involved in the preservation of historic buildings,” he said.

About the author

Charlie Sahner

“Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." - Einstein


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