Today's Downtown News tells the obscure story of George Kress, the king of L.A. house movers back when it was common to see a home (or a school or store) rolling slowly down the street at night. Kress relocated thousands of them, including many mansions that used to line Wilshire Boulevard. The biggest of those was the so-called Verbeck mansion (photo from the folks at Architecture Tours LA), which used to sit where the Royale Wilshire is at Rampart Boulevard. Architect John Austin (Griffith Observatory, City Hall, Shrine Auditorium) designed it in 1897 for a Chicago grain merchant named Hiram Higgins. For the move in 1923, the Queen Anne was cut into three sections; a party carried on in one of the sections, with the mayor in attendance, as the house rolled along. Jay Berman's story in the DT News is partly about Kress and partly about Rodney Kemerer, who lives in the only home Kress built and has been researching the subject for a dozen years. The Higgins-Verbeck mansion, by the way, still stands just off Wilshire at 637 S. Lucerne in Windsor Square. It's an official city historic-cultural monument.
Also in the DT News: Sam Hall Kaplan's heart attack column.