Laura Seitz, Deseret News
The 117-year-old Odd Fellows Hall will be moved across Market Street and turned to face south.

Five million pounds of brick and mortar will gradually make its way across Market Street over the next 2 1/2 months — all in one tedious and technical trip.

After nearly six months of preparation, construction crews as soon as Monday will begin uprooting the historic Odd Fellows Hall from its 117-year home at 39 W. Market St.

Using a latticework of 27 steel beams, including five fitted with jacks, crews plan to lift the building about 10 feet off the ground over a two-week period.

It's the next step in the rigorous relocation of the 48-foot-tall, three-story building to make way for a new U.S. District Court building on the south side of Market Street.

Crews plan to move the Odd Fellows Hall west onto a vacant lot, rotate it 180 degrees so it faces south and then return it to its original location. The still-hoisted building then will travel north across Market Street and finally onto a prepared lot to the east.

Alan Rindlisbacher, marketing director for Layton Construction, said the lifting of the building will be a slow, stop-and-start process because crews constantly will be evaluating the structural integrity of the building.

"When they start to lift it, they'll look to see where the stress points are, where it's cracking and where the building starts to separate," Rindlisbacher said. "They'll stop and go back in for a week or so to brace it and do whatever needs to be done."

The building's windows and doorways have been filled with cinder blocks, and slots have been cut in the foundation so the steel beams could be inserted.

Sandy-based Layton Construction has enlisted the help of heavy-haul transportation and rigging company Emmert International to assist with the move.

Once the building is lifted, Emmert workers will position under it 56 transportation dollies — essentially remote-operated jacks, each with eight mining tires — to make it mobile.

A project timeline shows the building's first move — onto a vacant lot to the west — getting under way the week of Aug. 18 and taking about three weeks to complete. The rotation of the building and backfilling of the old foundation is expected to take much of September.

The actual move across Market Street is slated to begin Oct. 3 and take four to six days.

Emmert specializes in difficult moves, with a resume that includes the relocation of Howard Hughes' gigantic aircraft, "The Spruce Goose," as well as the Hubbell telescope and the 3.2 million-pound Fairmont Hotel in San Antonio.

The Odd Fellows Hall will be among the largest — and most difficult — buildings the Clackamas, Ore., company has moved, according to Emmert officials.

The U.S. General Services Administration, an arm of the federal government that secures property for government uses, owns the Odd Fellows Hall and is picking up the $5.9 million tab for the move.

GSA plans to sell the building after the move is complete. The new U.S. District Court building is planned for construction directly adjacent to the west of the Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse.


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