03/17/2014 08:01 EDT | Updated 05/17/2014 05:59 EDT

Twin 'Dorothy' houses together again after Vancouver move

The 'Dorothies,' two Vancouver west side heritage homes, were saved from the wrecking ball and successfully moved two blocks Monday morning, from West 43rd Avenue to their new home on West 41st Avenue.

The 1930s-era houses are on the City of Vancouver's 'B' heritage list, but were slated for demolition after both of their properties were recently sold.

The two Tudor-style houses were both named 'Dorothy' after the wives of their first owners, who lived in the homes on adjacent side-by-side properties beginning in the 1930s.

The  journey, which involved the dismantling of trolley wires and power lines along the route, was accomplished in only two hours, but was three months in the planning, 50 to 70 workers, and cost around $350,000.

Walter Keenlyside, the original builder's great-grandson, says watching the houses' journeys was a bit of an emotional event.

"It's actually quite moving seeing these things being moved," he said. "Quite remarkable."

"I think he [my great-grandfather] would be very happy to see that they are not being torn down," Keenlyside said.

Rob Chetner with Trasolini Chetner Construction says the Dorothies were at first going to be relocated to Vancouver Island, but that plan fell through because of the cost.

Threatened once again with imminent demolition, a group of Vancouver business people saw value in their heritage designation and decided the houses might work in a nearby townhouse project, Chetner said.

The Dorothies will be now be refurbished and converted into townhomes, and will start their next chapter — side-by-side, as they ever were — in the eight-townhome complex being built at the new site.