The house that James Harvey Irvine Jr. built more than 50 years ago may be spared the wrecking ball under the terms of a tentative agreement reached this week.
The ranch house, torn apart by vandals and littered with broken glass, was scheduled to be demolished along with one other home in the area to make way for an expansion of Interstate 5.
But the Irvine Ranch Water District tentatively agreed this week to give the houses a home. Under the agreement, the Irvine Co. is slated to pay half the estimated $37,000 moving costs, and the city of Irvine and the water district will split the other half.
"We saved the houses from destruction," said Ranch District President Peer A. Swan.
Water district officials have not yet decided on a location for the two houses, Swan said. However, the district plans to refurbish the homes and allow employees to move in. The homes are scheduled to be moved by April 15, Swan said.
"That's an excellent use for them," said Irvine Historical Society President Ed Portmann about the houses. "It allows them to be renovated, and ensures their upkeep. That's what has been lacking in the past."
Portmann emphasized that details of the agreement are still being worked out. He also said the relocation of the houses onto district property is only an "interim" solution, adding that the homes may end up being moved again.
"This agreement is a win-win situation for everyone," said Kathleen Campini, Irvine Co. spokeswoman.