El Fureidis - 631 Parra Grande

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el FUREIDIS El Fureidis, translated as ‘tropical paradise’ or ‘land of happiness,’ is one of the founding estates of Montecito, steeped in rich and colorful history. The estate was founded in 1906 by James Waldron Gillespie, a visionary hailing from New York who came to the West Coast looking for a location with a landscape and a climate that rivaled that of the Mediterranean. Originally known as a botanic garden, the estate boasts 10 acres of exceptional grounds offering the utmost in privacy and a variety of trees, many of which are over 100 years old. The estate was inspired by Gillespie’s world travels, and designed by Bertram Goodhue, a renowned architect known for his churches, museums, and monumental buildings. Gillespie and Goodhue embarked on a year-long trip to gather inspiration for the estate, and a significant portion of their journey included over 500 miles on horseback from the Caspian Sea to the Gulf of Persia. It was this trip that birthed the concept of a grand Roman villa with Persian gardens, a very progressive architectural style for the time.

a NEW ERA The concrete and steel reinforced neoclassical estate has been relatively unaltered, allowing the integrity of the original building form to be upheld. The entrance features original tile work said to depict Gillespie, Bertram Goodhue and friends at one of the many famous parties held at El Fureidis. Timeless original features such as the copper doors, light fixtures, brass hardware, and tiles hand selected by Gillespie and Goodhue continue to adorn the estate. Today the estate offers unsurpassed quality and the utmost in privacy with four en suite bedrooms, five half bathrooms, a state of the art kitchen designed for modern-day use, and numerous spaces and patios that lend themselves to indoor-outdoor living and entertaining, all of which are bathed in natural light and offer views of the exquisite grounds.

PIÉCE de RÉSISTANCE The estate was known for its unique architecture and one of a kind details when it was built, and it continues to be known for those same details today. The conversation room has remained the piéce de résistance of the house. It features hand painted, elaborate bronze, gold and blue designs that cover the walls using 24k gold leaf. The Byzantine-style alcove is crowned with an 18-foot high central dome that is decorated with a floral gold-leaf design, modeled after the church of St. John Lateran in Rome.

Offering numerous areas for entertaining, the public rooms of the estate are grand in style. Each public room is bathed in natural light from the numerous sets of double doors which open to the central courtyard and other patio areas. From the entry, one may enter the formal living room with lovely blue paneled ceilings, representing the heavens, and the neoclassical era of the estate. From the living room, the floor plan continues to a library, a sitting room and a lounge.

Gillespie was infatuated with Persian culture, and was captivated by the history behind the Persian Capital of Persepolis. The dining room features a magnificent barreled ceiling painting with murals depicting Alexander the Great conquering Persepolis. Architect Bertram Goodhue commissioned artist Henry Wadsworth Moore to hand paint the mural on 24k gold leaf. Gillespie was so fond of Moore’s work that he hired him to paint murals at his east coast estates.

An immaculate rooftop provides sweeping views of the lavish ten-acre property, Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands. The desirable Montecito climate allows the rooftop to be enjoyed year round, while expansive space for rooftop lounging and sunset views provide the perfect setting for events.

SIGNIFICANT GARDENS When Gillespie envisioned his estate, he saw a grand villa surrounded by elaborate gardens. Situated on ten private acres, El Fureidis is celebrated for its extravagant gardens and landscape. When one looks out of any window at El Fureidis, they will be enamored by the amount of lush greenery that covers the property. With a large west facing yard, and greenery covering every inch of the property, visitors to the estate feel like they have escaped to a tropical paradise. Influenced by ancient roman architecture, the atrium as originally built to collect rainwater from the roofs of the home to water the exotic gardens. Goodhue designed El Fureidis around a central gathering space, ensuring that every public room on the first floor opened into the atrium. The space is ideal for al fresco dining and open air entertaining.

A TRUE PIECE of ART HISTORY El Fureidis is a place of legendary provenance and has at times received credit for playing host to many memorable tenants and visitors, including Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Charles Chaplin, and John F. Kennedy. It is perhaps best known in recent years as a location for the 1983 film Scarface, and the wedding of Michele Pfeiffer and Al Pacino. The estate is one of only three residences in Montecito designed by Goodhue, and is a true piece of art history.

EMILY KELLENBERGER (805) 252-2773 | emily@villagesite.com www.emilykellenberger.com | CalBRE 01397913

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