This battered bungalow is finally rolling

Times Staff Writer

After 11 days, the now infamous Hollywood Freeway house was finally rolling again late Tuesday night.

The house was being hauled north on the freeway followed by a parade of cars after beginning its journey around 10:30 p.m.

It had languished on the freeway shoulder since the owner, Patrick Richardson, tried moving it from Santa Monica to the Santa Clarita Valley himself Sept. 15. He had hoped to save money.


Richardson, 45, of Castaic, obtained a permit from Caltrans to transport the oversized load on the freeway. Instead of taking the shortest route -- up the 405 Freeway and over the Sepulveda Pass -- he took a longer, more level route through downtown Los Angeles and north on the 101 Freeway.

By the time the 20-foot-wide structure reached downtown, the wheels reportedly were coming loose from the trailer. Richardson made emergency repairs and lumbered onward, only to come to a halt again in Hollywood.

That’s where his house, built in 1950, struck the 14-foot, 10-inch Western Avenue bridge. The impact sheared off the top of the roof. A SigAlert was called when it took hours to free the house from the bridge. The house was eventually parked 3 1/2 miles up the road near Barham Boulevard, where the shoulder was wide enough for the structure to be out of traffic lanes.

On Monday, state highway officials gave the owner of the green stucco bungalow until midnight to move it. If the house wasn’t gone Tuesday morning, Caltrans was prepared to hire a mover and bill the job to the homeowner. And so the state agency did. Caltrans spokeswoman Judy Gish said Tuesday that the agency had hired Master House Movers of Santa Clarita to move the house. “Since the owner was unable to move the house himself during the required time frame, Caltrans has taken over the process and the owner will be billed,” she said. Gish said it the house would be stored but she didn’t know where. She said there is no current cost estimate.

Meanwhile, commuters on both sides of the freeway stepped on their brakes for perhaps the last time this week, gazing over at the lopsided house.

Russ Leland, 65, who lives near Lake Hollywood, suggested a new location for the house.

“The guy’s going to be famous for this, so that house should go somewhere,” Leland said, pointing over to a nearby empty lot. “That’d be a perfect place for a house.”