Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The New Occupant

For the first time in 20 years, someone is living in the Delaney house (legally, that is).  Last night,we moved Elliott into the Delaney House.  PG&E came out and turned on the gas, so the house now actually has hot water.  

This is definitely a "roughing it" scenario.  There is still no running water in the kitchen, and the stove is not yet hooked up (that should happen today or tomorrow).  The light in the kitchen still doesn't work.  The bathroom is fully functional, but doesn't have towel bars, a toilet paper holder or a soap dish.  None of the rooms have been painted, and most have places where the lathe still shows through the plaster.  

But it's a big step having someone there.  When we got to the house to move his stuff in, there was mail in the mailbox - another sign of life.  We've even taken the padlock off the front gate.  And by the end of this weekend, we hope to have the house much more habitable, with pain on some of the walls, a working kitchen sink, etc. 

Meanwhile, we're working with the City to see if we can get the Cheney Cottage moved prior to the 4/21 deadline.  It appears there is no way of getting the various City Commissions to act faster to get the project done on time. so we've approached the City to see if we can post a completion bond, and move the houses before the permit process is completed.

Since we have not gotten any objection on our plans from the neighbors or from the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association, and since we are racing to save a historic structure, it seems entirely appropriate that the City help in making this happen by letting us do the process in a somewhat unorthodox manner. We don't plan to circumvent  the permit process - we will get all the permits required - but we will move the houses prior to the permits being issued.

Assuming this happens, we may be moving the houses sooner than we had thought.  Ideally, we'd move the Delaney House back in the ext two weeks, then get the Cheney Cottage off the University's property well before the 21st of April.

Keep your fingers crossed.  We still have many hurdles to jump.

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