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Ed Begley Jr.'s retrofitted eco-friendly house may be razed

The 1937 Studio City home that Ed Begley Jr. painstakingly retrofitted to be as eco-friendly as humanly possible could face the wrecking ball and be razed completely.

This house may be destroyed after years of Begley's retrofitting
Mike Szymanski, Studio City Community Activism Examiner

"It seems a shame, but we really have no control of what happens to it now," said the actor, who lived in the home with his wife Rachelle Carson Begley and reared his daughter Hayden there from the time she was a little girl. "All the permits, all the permissions, all the work we put into the house may be gone."

Begley's "Living with Ed" series that showed how the house is a model for environmental conversation, showed how he installed the solar panels, the gray water system, the compostable toilets and more that he put in the house at 3850 Mound View Drive where hundreds of kids walked by to get to Carpenter Community Charter School every morning.

Begley's neighbor is his close friend and fellow conversationist Bill Nye the Science Guy, and his family will be renting a house nearby as their completely environmentally-friendly home gets built from the ground up in Studio City along the Los Angeles River on Dilling Street.

Meanwhile, Begley has allowed his friends at the Tree People up the hill on Mulholland Drive come down to take as many of the trees and shrubs from his house as he could. Begley's house is famous for its gardens in the front and the vegetables and cornfield in the middle of the grounds, and his man-cave over the garage in the back.

A developer bought the 8,098 square feet lot for $60,000 more than their listing price for $960,000 in late April, and the Begley's just recently left the house. The family is going to a Kennedy wedding at the end of the month and won't be scheduled to move into their new house until early next year.

The actor's cousin, Brandon Begley, listed the house, and one family wanted to buy it at the listing price and keep it the same, but the higher bidders offered $1.025 million.

"We honestly hoped that someone would keep the house like it is, because the energy bills are super low, and it is close to everything," said Ed, who walks to the Chop Stop and other local eateries easily, and even took the subway to the Oscars this year.

"I have shown what you can do to retrofit a house," Begley said. "I took a very inefficient house from 1936, and like most of the homes in the area, it had no insulation and certainly no concern for the environment, and I made it as energy efficient as possible."

Begley laughed, "I've taken as much of this old square peg and shoved it into as much of a round hole as I could."

He is excited about his new prospect, and so is his wife, Rachelle.

"I will show what I can do with new construction, and show how I can build house from the ground up that is environmentally safe," Begley said.

See some of the Begley's "On Begley Street" entertaining stories at

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