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Montecito Landmark “El Fureidis” Sells For Undisclosed Amount

Santa Barbara’s #1 real estate team, Riskin Partners, a luxury division of Village Properties Realtors, has facilitated the sale of the 10.5 acre “El Fureidis.”

El Fureidis was sold by El Fureidis L.L.C., a company owned by Mr. Sergey Grishin, a noteworthy Russian billionaire, and purchased by IQ Holdings, Inc., a Houston, Texas based Private Investment Bank, owned by Mr. Pradeep Yohanne Gupta, its Chairman & CEO.

El Fureidis’ long history began with its founding in 1906 by James Waldron Gillespie, a visionary hailing from New York, who engaged the renowned architect Bertram Goodhue, known for his churches, museums, and other monumental buildings, to design this “tropical paradise,” which includes a grand Roman villa with Persian gardens, sculptures by Lee Lawrie (famous for his statue of Atlas in front of the Rockefeller Center), a barrel dome ceiling painted with 24 karat gold-leaf and modeled after the St. John Lateran Church, and ceiling replica of the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome—also done in 24 karat gold-leaf.

Defined in the early 1900s as one of the top 15 places to visit in the U.S., El Fureidis (meaning “Pleasure Gardens”) was more commonly known as a botanical garden because of its beautiful landscape that boasts over 100 species of palm trees and redwoods (many of them over 100 years old), which cover the estate.

Mr. Gupta has said: “El Fureidis is unlike any property we have owned.  It is a museum.  We feel a particular sense of responsibility as the new owners and define our role as “motivated stewards” of this museum.  Restoring and expanding the property to the same level as in its early glory days, as envisioned by Bertram Goodhue represents an exciting challenge.  We plan to engage noteworthy and capable professionals to help contribute towards this effort.”

Other notable moments of the house’s history include providing the backdrop for Charlie Chaplin’s wedding to Oona O’Neil and the filming of the 1983 movie Scarface featuring Al Pacino. Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and other famous dignitaries have stayed at El Fureidis during their visits to Montecito.

More details are available at www.montecitoparadise.com