Old Morris Township home saved from demolition

An old Morris Township cottage scheduled for a wrecking-ball date will stay intact, thanks to one woman?s persistence.

Penny Wise, an architect and historic preservationist, has lived next to the cottage for 35 years. She battled with the town and its owner for two years to save it from demolition. It has taken three weeks to move the 57-year-old brick structure within 100 feet of its new resting point - next to Wise's garage.

"I had a lot of reservations about it at the beginning, whether it was the right thing to do,? says Wise of her effort. ?But once I saw it lifted and I saw it being moved, I really began to get connection. This is my house."

One of the biggest challenges is moving the cottage between two trees. But with some finesse and creative engineering, it is expected to get through.

"Once we get it turned and between the trees, we can line it up and go straight to the foundation,? says Wayne Yarusi, who is spearheading the move. ?And once we are on the foundations, we will turn it and line it up with the footings."

The next step will be to get the cottage on steel girders using metal to position it over a hole. Wise plans to turn the two-story cottage into an art studio.

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