Brown University Is Selling Three Homes, Each for $10 Dollars

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Want a home? Got $10? Brown University may have a deal for you, but there's a catch.
The Ivy League school is selling three 19th-century houses on Providence's historic East Side for $10. Here's the fine print: each buyer must relocate their new abode somewhere else.
The sales come as Brown clears space on its campus for the 74,000-square-foot Mind Brain Behavior Building, which is now in

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Want a home? Got $10? Brown University may have a deal for you, but there's a catch.

The Ivy League school is selling three 19th-century houses on Providence's historic East Side for $10. Here's the fine print: each buyer must relocate their new abode somewhere else.

The sales come as Brown clears space on its campus for the 74,000-square-foot Mind Brain Behavior Building, which is now in planning stages. The homes for sale are in the way, said Mike McCormick, Brown's assistant vice president for planning, design and construction.

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Moving an entire building can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, McCormick said. Even so, Brown has opted against demolition, a much cheaper option.

"The university is concerned about the historic integrity of the houses and the neighborhood, and so we want to make sure that, as we grow, we're also enhancing the neighborhood and not making it worse," McCormick said.

Each house was built between 1850 and 1884, according to city records. Two of the Greek Revival homes now serve as housing for graduate students, including one that retains its original wood trim and leaded glass fanlights.

Architect Alpheus Morse designed the third and most recent home, an 1884 carriage house built for the drivers and horses of Lucien Sharpe of the Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company. It is now an academic center for Brown.

To move a home, builders must disconnect it from the basement, insert wooden beams across the bottom, then elevate those beams using hydraulic jacks on wheels. The entire structure is rolled into place at a speed no faster than a slow walk.

Brown used that process to move the Peter Green House a short distance on its campus during the summer of 2007. The effort was documented on an Internet video.

McCormick said an ideal buyer would probably live on the East Side, to decrease the moving bill and increase the chances that the building will fit in at its new location.

The university has offered up to $1 million to assist with relocation expenses, depending on the buyer's finances and plans for the home. But McCormick said the total cost of moving the three houses may exceed that.

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