Why Microsoft Moved a Farmhouse

If you were working at Microsoft in the 1990s, you might remember a little house on blocks near Redwest. We speculated about its fate for two years while it sat there.

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Here’s the story.

Chicken farming used to be a main industry of the rural eastside. In 1992, Microsoft purchased 35 acres of the Morelli property, one of the area’s largest chicken farms, for the 700,000-square-foot Redwest  campus. On the property remained a 1936 farmhouse, and Gabe Morelli, one of the last family members remaining on the property, was unwilling to sell it.

So, when Microsoft needed to build a 250-car underground parking garage for Redwest, they put Alba Morelli’s house, belonging to Gabe’s aunt, on blocks and moved it by truck to a temporary site just south of the campus driveway on the Bellevue side of 148th.

Microsoft allowed Mrs. Morelli to live in the house until her death, after which the company built the parking lot on her land.

I haven’t seen the old house since then, but I heard it’s been moved back to its original location and is well-maintained by Microsoft.

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