The 10 Heaviest Buildings Ever Moved


The Hotel Montgomery (4,816 Tons)

When the Hotel Montgomery opened in San Jose, Calif., in 1911, it was the epitome of luxury. By the 1990s, however, it was vacant, deteriorating and facing demolition. The space was needed to expand another upscale, modern hotel. But the newly elected mayor of San Jose told developers to find a way to save the Hotel Montgomery -- or there would be no expansion. It seemed like an impossible task, until a frustrated architect asked, "Why don't we move it?"

What started as a discouraged utterance turned out to be an inspiration, and in 2000, the 4,816 ton, four-story Hotel Montgomery moved 182 feet (55 meters) down the street. The move itself cost $3 million, with a total project budget of more than $8.5 million [source: Hospitality Net].

To some preservationists, moving the building wasn't ideal. An elegant ballroom had to be torn down to relocate the structure, and the first floor was gutted to install structural supports. But when it comes down to losing an entire building or modifying it, moving it can be a good compromise. Sometimes buildings are restored to their original condition in their new location, but in this case, the Montgomery underwent additional renovation to become a serviceable hotel again [source: Garboske]. The Montgomery is now a stylish boutique hotel, so visitors to San Jose can enjoy a modern hotel room in a historic building.