Case Studies

Engine No. 7 Firehouse, Cambridge, MA


Relocation of the Engine No. 7 Firehouse

An historically significant Firehouse sat unused in Cambridge, MA, but that was soon to change. A developer sought to put the building to a new use. His idea was to move it closer to the road on its own site and attach a new hotel to the back of it. The original Firehouse was to be renovated and turned into the hotel lobby, dining area and guest rooms. In order for all this to happen the Firehouse had to be relocated - and not just once. It first had to be moved out of the way to the back of the lot to permit construction of its new foundation close to the road. Following that, it had to be moved onto the new foundation. Once the Firehouse was in its new location, construction of the new hotel could begin.

Following receipt of an order to perform this two-phase relocation, ICC's engineering team designed the move system, sizing and positioning beams, determining the number/location of jacks and rollers, and performing all other move-related design work. ICC field personnel then stabilized the building for the move and completed preparations for the installation of move-steel beams which required holes in the building for insertion of the beams. The back of the Firehouse was completely removed to allow access into the new hotel complex behind. Northeast Building Movers, working as a subcontractor, then installed move-steel under the building in preparation for the move, and the hydraulic system was hooked up. Following all preparations, the 632 ton building (including move-steel) was jacked up to its moving height, and roll-beams and rollers were installed. The Firehouse was now ready for relocation.

The Firehouse was moved on “rail” (steel beams) as shown in Figure 2 and Figure 3. To reach its new home from the temporary storage area at the back of the site, it was first moved forward toward the street on two rails (Figure 2). The Firehouse was then moved sideways on five rails set parallel with the street until positioned over its new foundation.

View all Case Studies