By Bryan Hay

Crowds gathered Aug. 4 to observe the new Portlock Black Cultural Center’s move from its original Clinton Terrace location to its new foundation a block away at 41 McCartney St.

Without nary a squeak nor pop, crews from W.A. Building Movers & Contractors of Westfield, N.J., successfully moved the three-story, 330-ton stone house in about eight hours, an engineering feat that required weeks of detailed preplanning.

Now undergoing full renovations, the 517 Clinton Terrace home will live on as the new Portlock Center, which will feature a full basement, wraparound porch, and interior makeovers to accommodate structured and impromptu discussions, including those involving invited speakers, and social gatherings. The center is named in honor of David A. Portlock, a former Lafayette assistant dean of academics, who played a pivotal role in leading the College toward a more diverse and inclusive future.

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the effort

In July, the team constructed a new foundation at 41 McCartney St. to receive the Portlock building. The team determined that the original structure was not truly square, so a new matching foundation needed to be constructed.

Crews used a specialized saw to separate the stone structure from its 22-inch-thick foundation. Hydraulic jacks lifted the house from its foundation, and then the house was placed on a platform composed of steel beams to carry it from its original location. Crews used a remote control steering system to steer the house into place.

The Portlock Center successfully installed at its new home. The Center is now undergoing extensive renovations to create more space to accommodate programming and continue its mission to serve as a welcoming place for students of all backgrounds who seek dialogue and friendship.

Watch a time-lapse video of the relocation: