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IRVINE | Community News Focus

Old Ranch House Gets New Home

May 02, 1996|RUSS LOAR

The most luxurious home on the former Irvine Ranch will soon be moved to the rural Rattlesnake Canyon area for use by an Irvine Ranch Water District caretaker.

It is the last of four ranch houses restored and preserved by the water district, which will spend $86,000 on restoration and $146,000 to ready the new site.

The 80-year-old, two-story home is not an ordinary ranch building, according to Irvine historian Judy Liebeck, who said it was privately built as a weekend residence. After the Depression, ownership of the land and house reverted to James Irvine.

The approximately 2,000-square-foot house was built with a craftsman's care, according to Liebeck, and has many stained-glass windows.

The house was moved last November from an orange grove on Irvine Center Drive to make way for construction of a golf course. It will be moved from its current location at the city's corporate yard to Rattlesnake Canyon within a month, according to Liebeck, who has long fought for the preservation of the city's historical ranch buildings.

The Irvine Ranch Water District agreed to fund restoration of the building in order to use it for a caretaker who will monitor nearby Rattlesnake Dam.

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