NORWAY – The Gingerbread House will begin its move up Main Street as soon as land deeds are recorded and site preparation work is completed, said Jim Boyce, a member of the committee responsible for the move of the building.

Boyce reported to selectmen at their Thursday meeting that the house will be moved first and the foundation will be poured later, probably in October.

“The trucks couldn’t get in and move around if we put the foundation in first,” he said of the small piece of land that is located by the Butters Park where the house will be moved.

The nearly two-year volunteer process will eventually result in the rehabilitation of the 1851 Evans-Cummings House. The building is more commonly known as the Gingerbread House for its elaborate “gingerbread” trim that was put on the home near the turn of the 19th century during a renovation.

In July, the Planning Board approved a partial site plan application for the proposed new site of the 80-foot-long house. The unanimous decision stopped short of approving a full change of use application until further details about the house’s future use are determined. However, it does allow the building to be moved under the condition that it meets Norway ordinance setback requirements and that when foundation work is done, erosion and storm water controls are in place.

The Gingerbread House, now situated near the intersection of Main Street and Pikes Hill Road, is owned by C’s Inc. which is a real estate holding company affiliated with Sun Media Group, publishers of the Sun Journal and Advertiser-Democrat. The owners agreed late in 2008 to delay demolition of the historic home if a grassroots organization of volunteers could successfully find a way to move the massive house.

The group is using nearby land from Maine Department of Transportation, the town of Norway and the building owner, C’s Inc. for a new site. The town has transferred its .31 parcel of the property, and has received Gov. John Baldacci’s signed deed for the 2,346-square-foot lot owned by the state. An agreement is expected to be finalized soon for the C’s Inc. land that is necessary to make the move happen.

Originally known as the Evans-Cummings House, the Gingerbread House and its octagonal tower has graced the entrance to Norway from the north since 1851. Its builder was Richard Evans, who was considered an important contractor who also built the Nash house on Pleasant Street and the passenger railroad station at South Paris. The three-story, 80- by 20-foot house is on the National Register of Historic Places.

If the committee is successful, long-range plans still have to be determined. Members have agreed the building must be self supporting.

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