With the necessary permits secured, the planned move of the Julia and Ulysses S. Grant’s Detroit home is underway.
As newlyweds in 1849, they lived in this home while Lt. Grant was stationed at the Detroit Barracks as Quartermaster. Learn more about Grant’s time in Detroit.
The home will move from its current location at the former Michigan state fairgrounds at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue to the corner of Orleans and Wilkins Streets in Eastern Market.
Permits for preparation at the home’s current and new locations were approved in late March 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the state-mandated stay at home order, work to prepare the home could not begin until mid-May. In addition, the state fairgrounds site is a COVID-19 testing site, and proper safety and security protocols for contractors needed to be implemented before work could begin.
Contractors gained access to the site on May 19 and began work to prepare the house. The move will involve dividing the house in two; the second floor will be removed and placed onto one moving truck. Then, the first story will be placed on a second moving truck.
Last fall, contractors installed the steel beams that will be used to lift the second story. On May 22, carpenters began the delicate work of cutting the house in two. To prepare for the cutting, several wooden supports were installed internally to minimize sway. In addition, the house has been lifted off its foundation.
Beginning in early June, contractors will begin constructing a new foundation and preparing utilities at the home’s new location in Eastern Market. The prep work at both locations is on target for completion by the end of June 2020.
Meanwhile, planning for the physical move is in progress. The home must move 15 miles to its new location, which will require relocating traffic signals and utility lines, as well as temporarily closing streets. Every effort is being made to plan for the safest possible route with limited disruptions to the community. At this time, a final move date has not been secured.