At 100-years-old, a home will take a trip across Gainesville on Sunday at 8 a.m. in an effort to provide affordable housing.
Tyler Smith is the man in charge of this project.
“I was just worried about a home getting demolished when the City of Gainesville has a lack of affordable housing in general,” said Smith, owner of Preserving Architecture Through History, LLC.
Nine months ago, the city wanted to demolish the home. Smith heard and did everything he could to save it, becoming successful just 48 hours before demolition.
“It’s been a lot of paperwork of course, and that’s really been what we’re dealing with. It’s just, how can we move this house across the City of Gainesville,” he said.
And after getting permits approved from the city, the home was ready to make its trip across town — from Fifth Avenue and Pleasant Street to North Lincoln and Duval Heights.
It’s the same journey activist Cora Peterson Roberson took when she attended the A. Quinn Jones’s Old Lincoln School.
Still, the home on Friday looked like it was missing a key part.
“The roof has been disassembled that’s why it looks a little bald right now but….and it needs to fit underneath the street lights and power lines so that’s why the roof was disassembled,” Smith said.
It’s history in the making.
“This is like sustainability to the max, I guess you could say,” Smith said.
And he hopes it inspires more preservation in the city.
“We’re carrying this house away from the increasing gentrification that’s happening in the Fifth Avenue neighborhood, but hopefully the city of Gainesville will decide to save this neighborhood and protect the cultural heritage that is being lost,” he said.
Smith said he hopes to have the home ready for a family to rent within the next six months, while the city of Gainesville is working to build a new home in its original location.
Roberson grew up on the grounds where the new home will be relocated to. She was the first woman to run for Gainesville city commission, the first Black woman to educate white students, a founding member of the first Black Greek-lettered organizations in Alachua County and the first director of the county’s Head Start education program.
In March, the city recognized Cora as Gainesville’s own hidden figure.