The Best Look Yet Inside Bellosguardo

••• New York City–based fashion line Kule—which is in a 1970s phase, judging from the above photo—has a pop-up opening in the Montecito Country Mart sometime this week. It’s in the little space recently occupied by Heather Taylor Home.

••• Someone asked me what’s up with Bellosguardo, Huguette Clark’s former mansion, and I tried calling and emailing, to no response. But the website does say that “we are planning to open for small tours in the fall of 2022,” which may or may not still be accurate, and it has many images—interiors and exteriors—that weren’t there before. They’re absolutely worth a look.

••• The city’s Streets Operation and Infrastructure Management division weighed in about Elle’s question regarding the intersection at Anacapa and Haley. (After the city changes the block of Anacapa between Haley and Gutierrez from one-way to two-way, will drivers heading south on Anacapa still be able to turn left on red from the far left lane?) The traffic engineer I spoke with said it’s his understanding that drivers in the far left lane will, in fact, be able to lawfully turn left on red, because they’re still turning from a one-way street onto a one-way street. And the middle lane in the photo below will be converted to a left-turn-only lane, which makes me wonder about possible conflicts between drivers in that lane and ones across the intersection turning right onto Haley…. I guess we’ll all learn to cope.

••• A tip from Jeff: “The bridge on Bella Vista Drive near the Romero Canyon trailhead is fully open. I just rode my bike through there, barricades are gone and the striping appears to be complete.” Have I mentioned lately how helpful tips like these are? Email [email protected], text 917-209-6473, or simply reply to the email newsletter.

••• Here’s a statement from John Elliott, CEO of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, about the 31,250-square-foot building proposed for Santa Ynez: “We’re currently exploring ways to create more office space to support Chumash Enterprises. This proposed office building would help centralize our administrative services in Santa Ynez, which would serve as a convenient location in close proximity to the Chumash Reservation.” And the site plan and rendering below came in after I ran the initial mention.

••• Check out the fantastic 1920 postcard of Summerland that Edible Santa Barbara spotted on eBay. The story of oil production in the town is told well on Wikipedia.


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That last shot of Bellosguardo … was the beach really completely empty, or photoshopped that way?


I look at Bellosguardo and yes the history is nice but the water use for an empty property must be stunning and in a time where we are told to conserve water which we must do I find this another example of the different rules for people like Oprah this place and the rest of us.


@Mark – Oprah received no special treatment and didn’t break any rules. She paid a private service for the water and the delivery of the water. There is nothing to stop you from legally doing the same.


Didn’t say they broke any rules just that we all live in the same area and we all know the challenges we face. Folks like Oprah tend to lecture others and virtue signal while living a very different life than they preach for others. Not to pick on her as she has ample company.


The whole state is in aridification. You can’t take water from one area and not have it seriously affect that area. And, for what…watering gardens?

“…these crafty, wealthy folks figured out some big-time workarounds, like calling a polo field an agricultural area and having water trucked in from nearby towns.

…Since the water generally comes from neighboring areas, the trucking doesn’t help with the drought any, it just skirts local regulations.”


It’s still a scarce shared resource no matter how someone procures an outsize portion of it. Being rich and able to legally pay to monopolize something everybody needs is kind of an out of touch/out of date excuse for someone who normally strives for leadership. It’s also a failure of imagination. Oprah has the resources and access to creative professionals to do something sustainable there that still honors the history, sets an example, and helps move the world to better paradigms and fashions. As she has done in the past with other things. Water is a leadership issue now.

Ruth Green

But what happened to the common good? It is still a shared resource as noted in a previous post. In the time of an historic drought, Oprah chooses to plant grass on the former 26 acre Semair horse property. It looks like a golf course. This property is far away from her house. So disappointing.

Dan O.

You about gave me a heart attack using that photo of the girls above your headline about the Clark estate. I thought the photo was from inside Bellosguardo. . . .


Well- at least that building won’t change the look of Santa Ynez proper

Bill Dedman

Here’s a video if you missed the exhibition of paintings by Huguette Clark, ending June 26, 2022, at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. I spoke at the museum to mark the opening, and here’s a link to that presentation on March 16, 2022, including photos you haven’t seen before.

The video was produced by TV Santa Barbara. The paintings were on loan from the Bellosguardo Foundation, which is seeking city permission to open the Clark home in Santa Barbara to the public for tours. Also on view at the Santa Barbara museum is a collection of Fiesta costumes owned by Huguette and her mother, Anna Clark, the widow of Sen. W.A. Clark. All are featured in our nonfiction book Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune.


There is a lot of fantastic open space/lawn at The estate. It would be nice if at least the grounds were more open to the public.
Does the City own the entire property?

Bill Dedman

Anne, no, the city owns none of the property. Huguette Clark left her home to a private foundation, not to the city. (There has been some, um, confusion, about this in the local press. The foundation has asked for city approval of a permit that would allow it to open the home to regular tours.