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Montecito's El Fureidis, a Gilded Age treasure in Santa Barbara

Montecito's El Fureidis, a Gilded Age treasure in Santa Barbara
Montecito's El Fureidis, a Gilded Age treasure in Santa Barbara 01:26

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

It's cozy by today's mega-mansion standards: a mere 10,000 square feet, situated on ten acres, surrounded by lush gardens and towering palms, all in the shadow of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Designed by famed architect Bertrum Goodhue for New York real estate tycoon James Waldron Gillespie, the home was completed in 1906. 

El Fureidis, the Mediterranean-inspired home of real estate tycoon 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 inspired the design, too, with Roman, Middle Eastern and European influences all around. 

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

Outside, the lush landscape features more than 100 different types of trees, including one of Montecito's largest fig trees. 

A perfect setting, no doubt, for the silver screen, as Al Pacino's Florida mansion in the 1983 gangster film, "Scarface."

A scene from the Al Pacino crime drama "Scarface," set in Florida but filmed in Santa Barbara, Calif.   Universal Pictures

Other familiar faces – Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy – have all paid visits to El Fureidis.

See also:

For more info: 

  • El Fureidis, Montecito, Calif. (Riskin Partners Estate Group)

Story produced by Jon Carras. Editor: George Pozderec.

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