In the wee small hours of October 18 2006, you could have seen two historic buildings moving slowly, oh so slowly, through the streets of Sarasota.
That was the day in history when the Historical Society moved its buildings to Pioneer Park. Here’s the local news item:
SARASOTA October 16 2006– The 1882 Bidwell-Wood House had been scheduled to be moved from Florida Avenue to Pioneer Park early Thursday morning.
But mover R.E. Johnson and Son will transport the building 24 hours earlier. Sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. on Wednesday, the Bidwell-Wood House — and the Crocker Church — will be moved from Florida Avenue, south of 10th Street, to Pioneer Park, at 12th Street and Cocoanut. The Historical Society of Sarasota County and the city of Sarasota are coordinating the project.
The buildings have been up on trucks and ready to go for several days.The public is invited to follow the three-block move behind the trucks — in bathrobes and pajamas, for those who wish.
Once the buildings are in place, piers will be built into the footings, which have already been poured on a high spot in the park, and then the structures will be lowered into place.
The move will be videotaped for a documentary to be shown on the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel.
And once the buildings were safe in Pioneer Park, all of us were walking on air.
It had been a long journey, even though it was actually only a few blocks… and it would be several years before we could use the buildings to present local history, but this was a momentous day not just for HSoSC but for the entire county: two buildings saved from the wrecking ball, so that residents can understand what came before today.