11,000 ton building rotated 90° while all 600 employees continued to work inside

An 11,000-ton building in Indiana was rotated 90 degrees while employees were still working inside.
You may find it distracting when someone lobs on the music a bit too loud in the office, or when a dog is brought in, but if 600 employees can keep up their work while their entire office building is being picked up and rotated 90 degrees... Well, you have no excuse.

From 12 October to 14 November, 1930, a building in Indianapolis, Indiana was moved 90 degrees flawlessly without any interruptions to its gas, heat, electricity, water, sewage or phone lines.
Yes, phone lines, and that part is actually pretty important considering the Indiana Bell building was home to the Indiana Bell Telephone Company.

The building was initially designed and built in 1907 for the Central Union Telephone Company, however, it later became the headquarters and manual call center for the Indiana Bell Telephone Company.

When it was proposed the building needed an upgrade in size, original architect Bernard Vonnegut I's son, Kurt Vonnegut Senior, suggested the building simply be moved instead to give space for a larger building.

But why move it and not just demolish it to rebuild a bigger building instead?
Well, home to the Indiana Bell Telephone Company, demolishing the building would've resulted in interrupting the company's services - which were crucial to the city being able to operate.

So, the decision to simply move the building was made, but the question remained of how to do it - especially with all 600 employees still working away inside.

Oh, and did I forget to mention the building weighed a whopping 11,000-tons of steel frame and brick? And was eight stories, measuring roughly 100 by 135 feet in size?

To ensure the continued operation of phone lines and maintain the city's functionality, the Indiana Bell Telephone Company's building underwent extensive modifications. Utility pipes and cables were extended and made more flexible. The building was lifted using jacks and placed on rollers, then gradually shifted 16 meters south, rotated 30 degrees, and moved 30 meters west. This process was repeated until the building had been turned a total of 90 degrees, facing downtown Meridian Street.

Contrary to the notion of someone as strong as the world's current strongest man, Mitchell Hooper, doing all the pushing and pulling, hydraulic jacks and rollers, aided by a steam engine, were utilized by the workers.

The entire operation, which lasted four weeks, was a monumental success. Remarkably, not a single day during those four weeks saw any interruption in telephone services or required the workers to halt their tasks.

Regrettably, the building has been demolished since then. Nevertheless, this achievement remains praiseworthy and serves as a fascinating nugget of historical information for your next bar trivia night.

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