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Mansion being readied for move 06/12/03
Dee Richman's employees were attacking the Fleming Mansion, S.W. 10th and Gage, from all sides Wednesday in preparation for moving it to a proposed new housing development near S.W. 6th and Wanamaker Road. They were chipping holes in the lower walls of the 2 1/2-story house and placing large steel beams under it. Richman, owner of Richman-Helstrom Trucking Inc. based in Burlingame, said she hopes to move it on Sunday, June 22. Richman said she is seeking a moving permit from the city to take the house west to Fairlawn, south to Huntoon, west to Wanamaker, north to 6th and west to the site. Dee Richman, owner of Richman-Helstrom Trucking Inc."I think it's going to be a long process because it's going to be slow," Richman said."I think it'll take most of the day." Richman has been in business for herself since 1969, but she added that she grew up in the business.Her father got into the business in 1937.
Briefly in Topeka 07/01/03
Dee Richman, owner of Richman-Helstrom Trucking, said the exact time of the move is uncertain, but it likely is to be before 6 a.m.The job of coordinating the move with the Topeka Police Department and the utility companies involved almost is complete, she said. The proposed route remains as previously announced.The house will be moved west on S.W. 10th to Fairlawn, south to Huntoon, west to Wanamaker, north to 6th, then west to the site. An earlier and more direct route involving a northbound stretch on Fairlawn to 6th was abandoned when Westar expressed concern about the house passing by a power transmission substation on Fairlawn. Richman said that was no problem and praised the working relationship she has enjoyed with the utility companies over the years.
The short haul ahead 07/11/03
If not we'll have some awful tired people," said Dee Richman, owner of Richman-Helstrom Trucking Co., which is moving the home. Dee Richman, of Richman-Helstrom Trucking Co."If it rains one bit, we're done for," Richman said. She said the beginning and the end of the trip involve driving over dirt that would become slippery in a rain.Richman has been moving houses since 1969 and has been around the business longer than that.Her father started in the business in 1937. She said she moves a building about once a week in Kansas or Missouri.The Fleming Mansion isn't the biggest she has moved, but it is larger than the average. The house is 41 feet tall, Richman said.
Dee Richman predicted that the pace of moving the Fleming Mansion would be measured in hours per mile. But she underestimated how many hours per mile.Richman, owner of Richman Helstrom Trucking Co., thought it would take five or six hours for the four-mile move, if everything went well.The house had been moved from its corner onto the parking lot, near the northwest exit onto 10th at 1 p.m. Saturday, Richman said.One tree had to be cut down to get the house from its lot onto the parking lot.The move from the parking lot onto the street was a slow process, but one that Richman's crew had practiced. A pickup truck contained sheets of wood of various thicknesses that were piled to make ramps over the curbs.Richman pointed out that many members of her crew are family -- sons, daughters, sons-in-law and granddaughters.Richman said she knew she could count on them to know what to do, because they were family.Dee Richman said it's unusual to have so many people come to watch a move, even of a house of the size of the Fleming Mansion, but especially in the middle of the night.She attributed it to the news stories about the house in recent months, including the controversy over whether the city council should have allowed it to be removed to make way for a Walgreen's store.
Parties dispute delay in house's move 07/15/03
Moving company owner Dee Richman, of Richman-Helstrom Trucking Co. of Burlingame, blamed Westar Energy crews for slowing the process, while a Westar spokeswoman cited the 3 1/2-hour portion of the journey west on S.W. 10th Street -- blamed earlier on tree-trimming delays -- and said the move's timeline had been "sorely underestimated." "I was really disappointed in Western Resources, how they kept dragging time out," Richman said.Richman said she had called Westar to complain Monday.She said that rather than working continuously, crews waited for the house to reach each power line before beginning to disable it, forcing a delay.