Green acres to spare

Times Staff Writer

Take the pool house, art gallery and gardens away from a Montecito estate built in 1912, add a 7,500-square-foot main house completed in 2004, and what do you get?

Pariso Verde, or Green Paradise, an estate in its own right today, now that it has a main residence.

Pariso Verde’s origins date back to 1942, when the owner of the original, intact estate subdivided and gave his pool house, gallery and almost 4 acres to a friend.

The original estate -- Val Verde -- was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, who gained prominence with his work for the Panama-California Exposition of San Diego in 1915.


In the ‘20s and ‘30s, Lockwood de Forest Jr., a landscape architect, modified Goodhue’s work. He designed a courtyard to function as an art gallery for the collection of Greek and Roman antiquities that belonged to Wright Ludington, then owner of Val Verde. Most of the 300 pieces can be found today in the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

During the ‘40s, Lutah Marie Riggs, one of the first female architects in the nation, remodeled a tower that Goodhue had designed for Val Verde.

The tower no longer has any rooms in it, but a stairway at its base leads to a master-bedroom suite and an office that are now part of Pariso Verde.

The last thing to be built at Pariso Verde was the main house, designed in 2002 by architect Donald Nulty. It has three bedrooms and four bathrooms.

About the estate: The main house is contemporary, yet it remains sensitive to historical aspects of the property. There are antiquities, such as the 4-by-4-foot Venetian “Lion of St. Mark,” a marble carving that dates to the 17th or 18th century. It is embedded in the walls of the tower. Marble fragments from 3rd century Roman reliefs and sculptures have been incorporated into courtyard walls. Columns grace the home’s front entry.

The estate also has its original, historic components, such as the 40-by-20-foot swimming pool with a glass-tiled floor. There is a recirculating stream with a sandstone bridge -- both were De Forest’s ideas -- along with a place to sit in the gardens.

Asking price: $19,950,000

Features: The estate also has a detached guesthouse, a studio and a motor court. The ceiling in the great room is hand-painted, and the courtyard is paved with 500-year-old Turkish bricks. Adjacent to the great room is a Moroccan-style indoor-outdoor bar.


Where: Montecito

Listing agent: Victor Plana, Coldwell Banker Previews, Montecito; (805) 895-0591.