LADY OF THE LOURDES CHURCH
In 1927 Our Lady of Lourdes Church on the north side of Chicago, then one of Chicago's largest and most influential parishes was moved. The project was considered one of the engineering wonders of its day and still is remembered by people living on the north side of Chicago The church, which was built in 1916, had to be moved because it was on the city right of way for the widening of Ashland Avenue. The pastor was not a happy man when he got the letter from the city of Chicago telling him that his church had to be torn down or moved off city property. He contacted Crowe Bros, Moving to see if anything could be done. They devised a way to move this great structure.
The tolerance for all the shoring timbers and track set to raise, turn, move 400 feet, set down, split in half and move one section about 50' back was 1/16". This move was a true art as well as a science. Imagine the figuring required to determine structural support needed, location of rigging, points to add pressure, cost of the work and other items.
Everything was figured on a slide rule as no computers or adding machines were available. A $300,000 bond was issued for this job because of its complexity. It is truly an amazing feat.