A future island resident is planning his new home with green intentions.
On Friday, Feb. 3 you may have noticed a pair of unusual visitors crossing the island bridge. The Bryant Patton Bridge was closed for about 20 minutes by the Florida Highway Patrol, aided by local law enforcement officers, to accommodate the passage of two houses that had migrated down State Road 65 on their way to a new home on St. George Island.
The pair of cute bungalows, painted pink and blue belongs to Jonathan Mayo, who has owned the houses since attending Florida State University 30 years ago. He purchased them from the original owners. He decided to move them when he learned, after selling the land they occupied, that the new owner intended to tear them down.
Mayo said his father is a contractor in South Florida and, as a small child; he witnessed a historic building being moved in downtown Miami to avoid demolition.
“That day, I decided if I could ever save a house that way, I would,” he said. “We’ve got to start doing these things. It’s important for the planet.”
As it turned out he didn’t have much time to consider how to save these cozy cottages from destruction. He had 120 days from the date of sale to find them a home.
Since he owned a lot on the island and had always wanted to live there, he arranged for Ducky Johnson House Movers to transport the houses to their new location.
Mayo said the houses, built of Florida pine in 1951, were very solid. As expected they made the journey unscathed. All of the windows were replaced before transport and not a single one was cracked when they reached their current location. Even the plaster arrived intact.
Because their new foundation was not ready, the houses are currently in storage on two separate lots.
“They still have their wheels so, technically, they are still in transit. They are resting for a while after their long trip,” Mayo said.
The two 1000-square-foot houses will be joining into a single structure and raised on stilts. The current siding will be covered. They will be painted and remodeled on site. Mayo praised Ducky Johnson’s work and said the company will complete the installation process.
“It probably would have been easier and cheaper to build a new house but look at what we’ve done,” Mayo said. “They won’t take up space in a landfill and I’ve saved thousands of trees. This has been a totally green project.”