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20th Street Houses

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Early 20th century. Between Frontage Rd. and Kanawha Ave.
  • 20th Street Houses (Michelle Krone)

The cluster of American Foursquares in this small residential enclave, nestled between the river and Kanawha Avenue near the University of Charleston campus, did not always reside here. The houses were moved in 1923 when their original sites were needed for construction of the state capitol. To accomplish the move across the river, the houses were raised on jacks, lowered onto timbers resting on rollers attached to steel tracks, and moved to waiting barges by a horse-powered windlass. Once the houses arrived on the opposite shore, the process was repeated in reverse. Commenting on the project, the local press seemed particularly impressed with the crew of the Pittsburgh firm hired to do the job: “There is none of the cursing and yelling and shouting that often accompanies large labor jobs.”

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.



  • 1900


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S. Allen Chambers Jr., "20th Street Houses", [Chesapeake, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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