Montecito Magazine Spring 2019

Oil Paintings by Allison Gobbell Title – Where Is The King, 24” x 24”. ©Allison Gobbell 27 of his own on the site. (Reitman also acquired the former El Mirador parcel that John and Tita had sold to Princess Shams after their mother died. Reitman later sold this property to Dan O’Dowd of Green Hills Software.) Tita’s 31 acres included the Main House, the Adobe, the Farm Building, the Gate House and the gate itself, with the “El Mirador Estate” label. She passed the remaining 42 years of her life on the estate where she had grown up, and where her children and later her grandchildren frolicked. But Tita’s trust-fund income was not sufficient to maintain an estate of that size, says Pam Taylor, who got to know Tita well when the heiress became a steady customer at the Taylor and Taylor jewelry store in the Upper Village. “She couldn’t do any updates or maintenance on the property because she didn’t have the money,” Pam says. “The life of the rich and famous is not always what it’s cracked up to be.” Tita made do, renting out the estate for wed- dings. She also made it available for charitable events, especially those that benefitted animals, one of her favorite causes. In addition, she rented the Top, left – Tita’s grandmother, Lola Armour, hired Arthur Heun to design and build five smaller buildings on the property in 1920, including the Gate House where Tita lived the last years of her life. All were designed after Italian and French provincial manor homes, with tile roofs and stucco exteriors. Left – Welcoming entrance to the Gate House. Above – Sun-filled Gate House interior. Painting © Whitney B rooks Abbott