A lightning move for the Spread Eagle

Many of the spectators arrived too late to witness the relocation that was done in half the time expected.

Courier Times

T-shirts were on sale for $10 each as the Spread Eagle was moved. Doug Crompton, past president of the Northampton Township Historical Society and Dottie Glessner, Preservation Committee member were both on hand to witness the move.
(Photos: Jay Crawford/Courier Times)
As a crowd watched, the Spread Eagle Inn, all 360 tons of it, was moved from Richboro's main crossroads yesterday about 120 feet down Second Street Pike.

The Bethel-based Verling H. Wolfe contracting company moved the structure and its supports with tractors. The move took a little more than three hours, more than twice as fast as predicted.

The three-story building, once a stagecoach stop, stood at the corner of the Pike and Almshouse Road for two centuries.

In recent years, the building, vacant for eight years, stood in the way of progress.

Northampton Township, which owns the building, is widening the intersection to ease traffic congestion.

Mike Kane, a staff member of CKS, the township's consulting engineering firm, said the weather played a major role in the speedy relocation that ended about 12:30 p.m.

"It was a beautiful day and the lack of rain gave us a very solid ground to work with," Kane said. "These good conditions made the job less labor intensive."

Jackie Liney was one of a number of disappointed residents who missed the move.

"I left my job early and still I missed seeing it," said Liney who arrived about 2 p.m. "Now I have a T-shirt that lies," she said, laughing. The T-shirt reads: "I was there when they moved the Spread Eagle Inn."

Liney and another observer, Kathryn Ciaverelli of Holland, said they supported the preservation of the structure once in danger of being razed.

"I don't care much about where they put it, I'm just glad they preserved it," said Ciaverelli, a member of the Northampton Township Historical Society. The society successfully pleaded with the township supervisors not to tear the inn down.

The supervisors two years ago condemned the building and land it stood on - at one time owned by Amoco.

Township Manager Bruce Townsend said the building now stands on land owned by the Giaimo Brothers. He said an agreement is in the final stages for the Giaimo Brothers to acquire the building and the land it once stood on.

The Giaimos operate Guiseppe's Pizza and Family Restaurant behind the Spread Eagle.

Townsend said the pact, under which the township will be paid $825,000 over 10 years, calls for the township to refurbish the exterior of the building.

Thursday, December 6, 2001

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