The Blood House on the move

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Photos by Anthony Bruce
Text by Daniella Thompson

Three landmarks on Durant Avenue: the Blood House between the Albra and the Brasfield (photo: Daniella Thompson, 2004)

For 123 years, the Ellen Blood House, a Queen Anne Victorian and a designated City of Berkeley Structure of Merit, was a fixture at 2526 Durant Avenue. Designed by the architect Robert Gray Frise in 1891, the Blood House was the only 19th-century building—and the only single-family home—remaining on the 2500 block of Durant Avenue.

In 2003, developers Ruegg & Ellsworth sought a demolition permit for the Blood House. The Landmarks Preservation Commission denied the permit, and the Zoning Adjustments Board followed suit.

A few years later, John Gordon and Janis Mitchell stepped in, offering to receive the Blood house on an empty lot they own on the corner of Dwight Way and Regent Street and to rehabilitate it. The relocation scheme also includes similar plans for the John Woolley House (1876), a City of Berkeley Landmark currently located at 2509 Haste Street and owned by Ken Sarachan.

After 11 years of negotiations, the Blood House was finally moved to its new Regent Street location on Saturday, 16 August 2014. The Woolley House is still awaiting its move.

The Blood House, its roof removed, traveled east on Durant, south on College, and west on Dwight Way.

The Blood House makes its way past People’s Park.

The stucco that had clad the house for decades was removed prior to the relocation, revealing the wood siding beneath.

John Gordon and crew at the receiving site on Regent Street.

Preservation activist John English came to witness the relocation.

The Bonnet Box will be preserved and attached to the rear of the Blood House.

John Gordon

The house waiting to turn the corner from Dwight Way to Regent Street.

The house positioned on blocks on Regent Street.

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