Urban Decay, Urban Renewal, and the Move to Main Street
By the late 1970s, the neighborhood and the house were deteriorating. In 1979, the house was sold to the city of Wichita's Urban Renewal program.
In 1985, MHGS needed a new home. We purchased the Dester house from the city for $1 plus the promise to move the house and clean up the lot. We also purchase the lot at 1203 N Main from the city for $1.
Once the basement and footings were ready at the new lot, it was time to move the house.
The move took place on a Sunday morning in November 1985. The utility lines were temporarily moved, and the house rode north on Main Street (which is normally a one-way street going south.)
After considerable rennovation, done primarily by MHGS volunteers, the Dester House was turned into the permanent home of the MHGS library.