A proudly modern pavilion perched high in the rugged foothills above the profoundly prosperous seaside community of Montecito, CA, owned by two-time Emmy winning documentary filmmaker Peter Jones (“Stardust: The Bette Davis Story”) and writer Peter Haldeman, is available at a sliver below $7 million. Jones, currently at work on the PBS bio-series “Angeleno,” and Haldeman, who frequently pens architecture and design related pieces for The New York Times and Architectural Digest, purchased the mountaintop property about two years ago for $6.575 million and current listing details show the steel and glass architectural confection has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in just under 4,000-square-feet.
Spectacularly sited and alluringly private on almost 10.5 acres at the tail end of a serpentine private lane, the property was owned in the 1930s and ‘40s by “Fantasia” composer Leopold Stokowski who frequently hosted famous friends like Greta Garbo and lived there briefly with his third wife, heiress and designer jeans pioneer Gloria Vanderbilt. The existing house, designed by master architect Barton Meyers and built in 2008, is aptly described in marketing materials as “a temple to indoor-outdoor living” with a monumentally proportioned yet still somehow understated open-concept living/dining room with 20-foot ceiling, fireplace — one of four in the house, radiant heated polished concrete floors, and towering trio of gigantic glass-paned garage doors that lift open at the flick of a switch and effectively convert the capacious space to a breezy, open-air porch with spine tingling views that sweep down the mountain and over the Pacific Ocean to the Channel Islands on the horizon.
More intimate quarters include a library/office with fireplace flanked by open bookshelves and a sleekly appointed kitchen that’s open over a huge center island to a lounge with fireplace. A broad and sunny south-facing terrace runs the full width of the house and steps down to a plunge-sized saltwater swimming pool nestled in to the hillside just below the house while a dining terrace features an outdoor fireplace reminiscent of a pipe organ and the surrounding grounds include stone-lined paths that meander through succulent gardens, a raised bed kitchen garden, and small avocado and citrus orchards.
Given the property’s historical pedigree, extraordinary architecture and unparalleled location, it wasn’t surprising to hear from an unimpeachable snitch the lofty mountain top aerie has been peeped by a handful of show business bigwigs including Oscar winner Natalie Portman, her “Star Wars” franchise co-star Hayden Christensen, Orlando Bloom, and high-powered former HBO executive Michael Lombardo.
listing photos: Village Properties