FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A 64-year-old historic log cabin rolled through downtown Fairbanks just after midnight Friday, preserved from the wrecking ball as a local hotel expanded.
The modest brown house was moved from its original location on Seventh Avenue to First Avenue to make way for expansion of the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel.
The cabin's new owner, Sharon Ausdahl of Bethel and Houston, said she left Fairbanks for the move. A portion of the cabin's roof had to be detached to fit under fiber-optic lines spanning city streets.
''I didn't think I could stand to watch that,'' she said.
Ausdahl owns a barge company in Bethel. She previously purchased historic properties in Bethel and Palmer.
''I like these old houses and I like Alaska history,'' she said. She has no immediate plans for the cabin, except to get the roof back on and ''make it look nice.''
Ausdahl spends her leisure time in Fairbanks, where she enjoys bicycling around the city.
''Fairbanks is a great place to visit,'' she said. ''I really like that the downtown has old and new.''
The cabin is listed in the city Catalog of Historic Buildings and is in good condition.
''It's a pioneer-type house,'' said Renee Blahuta, president of the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society. ''It has historical significance and it contributes to the cultural and historic heritage of Fairbanks.''
Blahuta said she prefers that historic buildings stay in their original neighborhoods but moving them is better than losing them.
The Westmark bought the cabin property near its hotel as part of a $34 million expansion project. The property will be used as a staging area and then will likely be converted to employee and overflow parking or a greenbelt.
Other buildings surrounding the cabin were demolished, but Westmark General Manager Bob Harmon agreed to be patient due to the cabin's historic value.
''I'm happy we could maintain the historical value of it. We worked around it for good reason.''
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