El Fureidis de Montecito, a Golden Age Treasure in Santa Barbara

Nestled in the Montecito Hills above Santa Barbara, the beautiful El Fureidis (or “tropical paradise”) estate is an oasis of tranquility and class.

It’s comfortable by today’s mega-mansion standards: barely 10,000 square feet, set on ten acres, surrounded by lush gardens and towering palms, all in the shadow of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Designed by renowned architect Bertrum Goodhue for New York real estate magnate James Waldron Gillespie, the house was completed in 1906.

El Fureidis, the Mediterranean-inspired home of real estate magnate James Waldron Gillespie.

CBS News

Gillespie fell in love with the 10-acre property because the climate reminded him of the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean also inspired the design, with Roman, Middle Eastern and European influences all around.


CBS News


CBS News

Lights with Swarovski crystals are a recent addition, alongside custom furniture replicating the originals seen at Buckingham Palace.

Outside, the lush landscape features more than 100 different types of trees, including one of the tallest fig trees in Montecito.

A perfect setting, no doubt, for the big screen, like Al Pacino’s Florida mansion in the 1983 gangster movie, ‘Scarface’.

A scene from Al Pacino’s crime drama ‘Scarface’, set in Florida but filmed in Santa Barbara, California.

Universal images

Other familiar faces – Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy – all visited El Fureidis.

See also:

For more information:

  • El Fureidis, Montecito, CA (Riskin Partners Estate Group)

Story produced by Jon Carras. Publisher: George Pozderec.

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