Barge brings Capen House across Winter Park lake

Historic home moves to new location

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Crews on Tuesday moved a historic Winter Park home across a lake in Orange County.

[WATCH: Sky 6 flies over Capen House moving]

Half of the Capen House, built by one of the founding fathers of Winter Park, James Capen in 1885, was placed upon a barge and moved across Lake Osceola to the Polasek Museum. The other half will be relocated Dec. 21.


"It just seemed that everything came together to make this the perfect fit and to give what was a private home a very public life we can all enjoy," said Debbie Komanski, executive director of the Polasek.

The trip across the lake took about 20 minutes and the barge was joined by spectators on kayaks and other small boats who were along for the journey. People also watched from the ground.

"This is the first one that I've ever seen or heard of being moved in on the water. It's really outstanding," said one spectator.

After the new owners wanted to demolish the 200-ton home, the public raised enough money to have it moved to a new location, about a third of a mile away via boat.

Once relocated and pieced back together the home will serve as an expansion to Winter Park's Albin Polasek Museum.

The museum estimates the total cost of the move and rebuild to come close to $650,000. Donors already raised most of the money, but the museum still needs about $100,000.

"Winter Park has a whole canopy of trees," said Christine French, of the Polasek Museum. "Too many branches and we can't get the house down the road."

Crews have spent weeks preparing the house for the move by getting it off of its foundation and onto a barge. 

The new owners of the land want to build their own house and set a January 1 deadline to get the house moved.

The moving of the Capen House was briefly delayed Tuesday morning after a crane bent part of a wheel on the barge. The barge then needed to be stabilized to ensure a safe trip across the lake.

Watch Local 6 for more on this story.