Historic Kent home to relocate again Thursday

Amy Cooknick

The May Prentice House on Willow Street is once again being moved to accommodate construction of the Esplanade expansion.

Beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, crews will move the house from 214/220 S. Willow to its new location east of Willow Street, wrote Emily Vincent, director of university media relations, in an email. Willow Street closed Wednesday between East Main Street and East College Avenue.

Kent City Engineer Jim Bowling said the street will reopen in five weeks, weather permitting. Until that time, thru traffic will be detoured. Businesses and residences on Willow Street will remain accessible throughout the expansion period while crews begin construction of a crossing on Willow Street.

Crews will move the Prentice House north past the Esplanade, crossing Willow Street. Vincent said once the new, permanent foundation is built, temporary supports will hold the house in place until the basement walls are built, then the house will be lowered onto the foundation.

Although the city and the university have discussed closing this stretch of Willow Street permanently, Bowling said they have yet to reach a decision.

“The university is investigating the possibility of closure of Willow in conjunction with development along the Esplanade, but that is currently in a study phase,” Bowling said.

In its new location, the Prentice House will sit across from the future College of Architecture and Environmental Design building, located between Lincoln Street and Haymaker Parkway.

Amy Cooknick is the senior city reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact Amy Cooknick at [email protected].