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April 10, 2021

In 1930 the Indiana Bell Telephone Building was rotated 90° while remaining completely functional

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In 1930 the Indiana Bell building was rotated 90°.

Over a month, the 22-million-pound structure was moved 15 inches/hour, all while 600 employees still worked there.

There was no interruption to gas, heat, electricity, water, sewage, or the telephone service they provided.

No one inside felt it move.

People could still enter/exit the building thanks to an entryway that moved, which connected to a special curved sidewalk.

The move was because Bell bought the building but needed bigger headquarters.

They planned to demolish it but that would've interrupted phone service for a big chunk of Indiana, which they didn’t want to do.

They lifted the whole building with steam-powered hydraulic lifts, then set it on enormous pine logs.

It was moved via hand-operated jacks, which pushed it over the logs 3/8" at a time.

Once the building rolled far enough forward, the last log would be moved to the front.

The rotation plan was conceived and executed by famed architect Kurt Vonnegut Sr. (father of the author).

The feat remains one of the largest building moves in history.

The building was demolished in 1963.

April 10, 2021 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


We have another one about this same size a block north that was moved two blocks away from the monument in the background.

Drive by that one every day. So this wasn’t the only one moved, just the only one with people still in it!!!

Posted by: Clif | Apr 11, 2021 12:26:54 AM

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