April 9, 2008
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—As part of Amherst College’s continuing efforts to preserve properties with local and historical significance, the college will relocate the Potvine and Tuttle Farm houses to their new locations next to one another on Gray Street in the town of Amherst the week of April 14. While the dates may change based on weather and a number of other variable and last-minute factors, Potvine is slated to move April 15, and Tuttle Farm is set for April 16 and 17. The moves will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., outside of rush hour commute times, to keep disruption of traffic in town to a minimum.
“Relocating these two wonderful landmarks into a central location in Amherst will allow a developer to renovate the homes in a historically sensitive manner and restore them to their former glory,” said Jim Brassord, director of facilities and campus services, adding that a local property developer, Hills House LLC, will restore the buildings at their new locations and that the houses will then serve as residences. “We are thrilled that that they will be reborn and will continue to contribute to the historic fabric of the town.” Brassord explained that although it is hard to estimate how long the entire process could take (since there is no precedent upon which to base such an approximation), the goal is to finish each day in less than six hours. “We’re confident we can move both buildings without appreciably disturbing daily town activities,” he said.
The Potvine House, 23 Spring Street, will travel to its new destination on a large truck. It will move west on Spring, turn onto Boltwood Avenue, and then follow Main Street to its spot on Gray Street. During the move, traffic on Dickinson, College, Spring and Main streets, as well as Boltwood Avenue, will be diverted for a short period.
The Tuttle Farm house, 415 South East Street, will likewise be transferred on a truck, but in two pieces. The structures will be removed from their current foundations, travel north across the field adjacent to the property and join East Drive on the Amherst campus. After moving north on East Drive, the pieces will cross College Street, continue onto Dickinson Street, and turn left onto Spring Street, right on Boltwood Avenue and right onto Main Street before being reconstructed on their designated lot next to the Potvine house on Gray Street. This route and the path the Potvine house will take were both carefully selected to limit the amount of travel on main arteries and to reduce the need for tree trimming. Further information about the precise move date will be posted on the college’s intranet web page, www.amherst.edu/intranet, at least a day prior to the actual move.
This is not the first move for either property. The Potvine house was moved off the Amherst village common to make way for Spring Street in 1858, and Tuttle Farm was disassembled and moved from Ware, Mass., in 1941.