Clark Estate Conundrum

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By an edhat reader

What is to be decided about the Clark estate that is located above East Beach (the estate is named Bellosguardo)? A recent Santa Barbara Independent article lays out the limbo the estate is in and the alleged mismanagement of the current stewards of the foundation (the appointed board).

The parallels of the Clark estate to the Franceschi House on the Riviera are very revealing about how much value our City Government and citizens place on the importance of historical and cultural resources. 

What do edhat readers think?

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Crystalandmaui Mar 31, 2018 08:06 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

I am waiting to have a tour of the place. I think it would be a great public park area, what a view. Also have tours of the house. It’s so beautiful, stop knocking down our history just to build more hotels. Please leave some history here in Santa Barbara,

Mas Gaviota Mar 30, 2018 04:12 PM
Clark Estate Conundrum

Bellosuardo is owned by a chartible foundation, not by the city. The only city connection is that the now disgraced former mayor got to appoint her henchman as executive director and some donors as board members. Alden Freeman donated the Franchesci property to the city in 1931 before Bellosuardo was built. The house was condemmed by city inspectors in 1963! They have been waiting for fifty five years for it to fall down and it is still standing. They cry about erosion, but they have not done a thing in decades to address the issue. Something inexepensive like planting ground cover was never seriously tried. The city recently came up with a bogus estimate of $10 milliion to repair it and $3 million to knock it down and build an interpretive center. For that money they should be able to knock it down and completely rebuild it.

a-1571537609 Mar 29, 2018 02:29 PM
Clark Estate Conundrum

How about gettibg Oprah to move there, then let 42 property owners who lost their homes in the mudslides build on herllow her current 42 acre lot?

Channelfog Mar 29, 2018 04:00 PM
Clark Estate Conundrum

How about leaving Oprah out of this, anonymous poster. The Clark Estate is a unique place that deserves proper care and dispensation.

Yeti Mar 29, 2018 11:11 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

Great, another property owned in a foundation no longer paying property taxes to the county, oh the arrogance. How about just donating the art to local museums and selling off the property or donating it to a charity that actually serves people with needs.

Z Mar 29, 2018 10:25 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

How about a campground and shelter for the homeless? Great location so long as they don't spill over into the cemetery.

a-1571537609 Mar 29, 2018 10:42 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

A campground would be great, but for paying campers. The homeless already have shelters and allowing a giant homeless camp on the bluffs above the beach would end up being a health hazard as we all know what flows downhill.....

oceandrew Mar 29, 2018 10:02 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

I'm sorry but I'm not getting the parallel between Bellosguardo and Franceschi House, except for the italianate nomenclature.

RockwellBAD Mar 29, 2018 05:31 PM
Clark Estate Conundrum

Tagdes- it seems you fully understand the parallels I originally wrote about. And you are correct that one should read the article in the Independent to glean the parallels. Thanks for your wisdom.

tagdes Mar 29, 2018 12:42 PM
Clark Estate Conundrum

They are both historical landmarks and both once beautiful. Our leaders allowed Franceschi to fall into irreversible disrepair and it's already been years since the taxes on Bellosguardo were waived so with the letting go of the caretaker, the falling into 12 million dollars of deferred maintenance... the indifference and neglect are aligning with the typical actions of our city powers. One could glean this parallel by reading the article.

oceandrew Mar 29, 2018 11:38 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

ROCKWELLBAD: The two properties are very different in appeal and usefulness. Additionally the Clarke estate comes with an endowment, did the Franceschi property? I believe not. Using past screw ups to foretell the future is not a rational endeavour but an emotional one and I strongly suggest you don't look to the future on emotions alone.

RockwellBAD Mar 29, 2018 11:28 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

Oceandrew- decades ago the city was given Franceschi park and the house that sits on the property by the Freman estate. The city and citizens let that house fall into such disrepair, for various reasons, that now that structure is to be torn down. The parallel is that the same thing is starting to happen with Belosguardo, it seems.

Red Creek Mar 29, 2018 09:40 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

Since it appears the legal issues have been decided (according to the Indy story), plans to update the mansion and grounds should go forward, along with a public process, design charrette, stakeholders meeting, or what ever one would call a sharing of ideas from the many who would enjoy Bellosguardo in the future (such as educators, art and architecture historians, neighbors and of course the rest of us, the general public). Ms. Clark wanted the facility opened and her family art enjoyed by the public. So get on with it.

Factotum Mar 29, 2018 09:15 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

Lindeman and Schneider need to be fired, ASAP. Court-appointed receivership is necessary, before they blow through the rest of the money. Moral of the Franceschi and Clark estate gifts to the city - don't do it. Donors should sell their properties and donate the proceeds to far more worthy causes than this City's now proven fiduciary mismanagement.

a-1571537609 Mar 30, 2018 08:50 AM
Clark Estate Conundrum

Huguette Clark's will provided that a private foundation be established as an educational organization "for the primary purpose of fostering and promoting the Arts". Bellosguardo was given to the foundation, not to the city. The only role anyone connected with the city played was in the nomination of Bellosguardo Foundation board members by the mayor.

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