In the Heart of the Golden Quadrangle

This is the sixth in a series of occasional walks, on streets chosen more or less at random. Because you see so much more when you slow down.

The Golden Quadrangle is one of those phrases that I’ve only seen in real-estate marketing; it’s hard to imagine someone actually saying he or she lives there. (Eyes roll at the thought.) Unsure of exactly what its borders are, I asked a friend in the business. “North to south, it’s E. Mountain to East Valley, and that’s never really in dispute. East to west, it depends on who you ask. I would say Hot Springs to Buena Vista at the very farthest, though Park Lane feels a little more appropriate, and San Ysidro would be a very strict interpretation of the boundary. If you tried to say Lilac is in the Golden Quadrangle, you might get a look.”

I started from home, but you might want to park in the Upper Village, because many of the streets are private, with signs aplenty warning people against parking there. For the purpose of this post, let’s begin at the intersection of San Ysidro Lane and Las Tunas Road. “Tuna,” in Spanish, is the fruit of a prickly pear cactus.

At first, Las Tunas feels low-key, but then you realize that there are a couple of very fancy houses. I always worry that I’m being watched when I take a photo of someone’s house—and in this case, I was.

I turned left onto Fuera Lane (“outside” in Spanish), a narrow street made much narrower by the hedges. Note the old stone gateposts from when this was one estate. Immediately on the left is 735 Fuera Lane, a neat 1920s property on the market for $9.95 million. You can’t see much of it from the street, alas.

Outstanding lettering at 745 Fuera.

At the intersection of Fuera and El Bosque Road (“the forest”) is 755 El Bosque, a gorgeous 1929 estate that last changed hands in 2001.

Heading south on El Bosque, things start out somewhat rustic. Love the ranch-style lettering at 745 (both the sign and the homemade metal doodad atop the pillar), and the green barn is pure Instagram bait.

Rebuilt from the studs, 677 El Bosque is now on the market for $5.95 million. When I first saw it at a broker’s open, I thought it would go quickly—it’s move-in ready, totally tasteful, and nicely set up for a family. I wonder whether the developer should’ve invested in more mature landscaping….

Across the street is 660 El Bosque, on the market for more than a year and now at $4.898 million. It was built in 1990 but it feels decades older, in a good way.

I didn’t turn onto Moore Road, because there isn’t much to see from the street. But down a long shared driveway—and not on the market—is, 1642 Moore, designed by Richard Neutra and (once?) known as the 1948 Tremaine House. The photo below is by Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10); lots more vintage photos here.

Perhaps we’ll get a look inside someday. In the meantime, could this love note be for Mary Tyler Moore?

Back on El Bosque, a French bulldog was apoplectic at my presence, racing back and forth and barking; the golden retriever was much more sanguine.

A marvelous old gate (with a dirt driveway), and a funny little entrance cut into a hedge.

This wall is new, and I can’t figure out the point of the circle. But the part around the tree is perfection.

The one sketchy part of this walk is the short bit on East Valley Road, where there’s not much room for pedestrians. The payoff is Periwinkle Lane, the cutest street in Montecito. It’s easy to miss from East Valley Road because there’s no sign (except for the “private” one), and the gravel road could pass for a driveway.

The houses are uniformly adorable. Six were designed by architect Harriett Moody; read more about her and her sister, Mildred, here.

Periwinkle ends at Hodges Lane, which isn’t quite as precious, but still has nice moments.

And Hodges ends at Bolero Drive. With houses from the same era all set back similarly from the street, Bolero feels much more suburban. The old pepper trees lining the street imply that the land was once an estate.

Despite the suburban vibe, there’s still room for quirk.

Previous “Walk With Me” posts:
Is There a Better Neighborhood for a Stroll Than West Beach?
Up, Down, and All Around Montecito’s Pepper Hill
E. Canon Perdido, One of Downtown’s Best Strolling Streets
Montecito’s Prestigious Picacho Lane
Whitney Avenue in Summerland
School House Road and Camphor Place