Exclusive Montecito, California, is home to some of America’s most spectacular private residences, new and historic. Perhaps the one met with the most amazement is Val Verde, the house built in 1915 on a breathtaking seventeen-and-one-half-acre coastal plot by architect Bertram Goodhue, the American designer renowned as the supervisory architect of the Panama-California International Exposition of 1915 in San Diego. Besides its status as the most preserved of the great early twentieth-century Southern California estate properties, Val Verde also bears the distinction of being the earliest American free-standing single-family house in the Spanish Colonial Revival style-a building style that would become enormously popular across the United States in the wake of Val Verde’s completion, and one that remains popular to this day.
In the first book to reveal the full extent and richness of Val Verde’s architecture, interiors, and gardens, the reader is treated to the never-before-published color photographs of the house and its gardens by the late Berge Aran, a former UCLA professor of architecture and leading expert on Val Verde. Aran spent years visiting and carefully documenting Val Verde, and through his images the enchanting spirit of this American architectural icon is succinctly captured here, affording the reader the rare opportunity of exploring this wonderful place, inside and out.