It's not quite a space shuttle, but seeing two turn-of-the-century Victorian cottages move through the streets on the back of a truck is still pretty fun. These two University Park houses, damaged since the Northridge earthquake in 1994, were in danger of demolition back in 2002 (USC wanted the land they sat on for a parking lot) and again in 2013 (for a USC daycare center), says the Larchmont Buzz; each time, the neighborhood put up a fight and stopped the bulldozers. Then, last year, a developer bought a long-vacant lot about three blocks away from the houses' sites at 3018 and 3024 Royal Street. When the developer's plans were scuttled, they decided that putting a historic building on their lot might be the next best thing.
Southland Development Group, the new owner of the big empty lot, had hoped to build three duplexes on the site, but in the end came around to moving two historic Victorians there instead; the plan is to restore the two cottages and use them to house USC students. The University Park Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, the West Adams Heritage Association, Southland Development (the owners of the vacant lot), and USC worked together to make the move happen. The developer came up with a site plan; USC financed the moving costs—the whole thing was "an amazing confluence of events."
So in the "the wee hours" of Wednesday and Friday last week, the houses were loaded up onto huge trucks and slowly carted through the streets to their new home at 2350 Portland Street. People were encouraged to come out and cheer for the slow procession, and from the looks of it they did. Since Southland Development specializes in restoring historic homes and has several student housing projects in the works right now, they're working with USC on the restoration/conversion plan.
· Two Victorian Cottages Saved and Relocated in University Park [LB]