March 20, 2002 11:00 pm

Dave and Betty Driggers, in moving their real estate business a few blocks down the street, take over one of the most historic buildings in

La Grande.

It was built in 1903, said Russell Lester, who bought the colonial-style structure in 1979 after he returned to La Grande in 1972 to take over his fathers real estate business. The house has three stories plus a basement (with windows).

It was a home at that time. I took out the swimming pool in back and put in a parking lot (for about a dozen cars). We remodeled and added onto the building, Lester said. You could hardly see the house from the street, so we cut down a few trees in front.

Betty Driggers has chosen for her office a room that once was the office of the early occupant, a Dr. Holmes.

He lived here and had some rooms on the second floor which had walk-in closets that had a sink in them, Lester said. I know there were a couple of people born upstairs.

Dave Driggers said the building has about 5,800 square feet of space, including the basement, which now serves as various real estate agents offices. He will make the largest of three basement rooms into a conference room.

There are still four living units on the second floor and one on the third, he said.

The building has a lot of history and its a sound, well-built building, he said.

The Driggers are only the fourth owners, they said. Lester bought the building from Hobart Nelson.

Ray Linker