AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austinites have been facing the frustrations of fast-paced growth and development for years, but one resident got creative with how he’d handle the impacts.

John Picciandra is picking up his home and moving it 40 miles away from where it sat on South Congress Avenue for over 90 years. The home was behind Hotel San Jose and the Texas School for the Deaf, near the heart of South Congress.


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The property was bought and the plan for the home was to tear it down, but that’s not what Picciandra wanted. Instead, he had the home split in two pieces and is moving it out to Dale, Texas.

Moving crews started the process overnight Wednesday. It took five days to get the home ready for its journey.

  • South Congress Ave. home being moved (KXAN Photo/Mariano Garza)
  • South Congress Ave. home being moved (KXAN Photo/Mariano Garza)

“I lived here and loved the house and asked [the new lot owner] what he was going to do with it, and he said he was going to knock it down. I told him ‘no I’m going to take it with me.'”

The house, which he bought in 1988 and has lived in since, will sit on 50 acres of land that is owned by his family.

Picciandra said it cost “what a cheap BMW would go for today” to move the home.

Home appraisal records show the property he sold was appraised at close to $900,000, according to the Travis Central Appraisal District’s website.