Spectacular Wallace Neff House Hits the Market in Santa Barbara
Designed in collaboration with landscape architect Thomas Church, the 1970 home is situated on an oceanfront parcel with sweeping vistas of the Channel Islands
Famed architect Wallace Neff is credited with pioneering Southern California’s distinctive architectural style, infusing Mediterranean aesthetics with American proportions to dazzling effect. During his decades-long career, Neff created homes for Hollywood royalty, including Charlie Chaplin, Groucho Marx, and Darryl Zanuck. Now, one of his most spectacular properties has hit the market in the ritzy Hope Ranch enclave of sunny Santa Barbara.
Known as the Straus House, the 14,000-square-foot manse dates to 1970, when Macy’s scion Robert K. Straus tapped Neff to design a weekend getaway for his family on a cliffside acre overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Since the family was already living in a Bel-Air abode that Neff designed in the ’20s, they knew they were in good hands.
Taking advantage of the site’s stunning view of the Channel Islands, Neff crafted a showstopping entrance that opens directly to the cavernous living area, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that perfectly frame the sea beyond. Consistent with his Spanish-inflected design sensibility, Neff deployed white-washed walls and Mexican tile flooring in the interiors, which originally featured a color palette inspired by the Straus’ impressive collection of contemporary French paintings.
For their part, the current owners have spent the past decade working with the local historical committee to renovate and expand the dwelling, which now features six bedrooms and eight baths. The grounds, originally conjured by modernist landscape architect Thomas Church, feature mature trees, a terrace equipped with a fire pit, and a pool.
The home is listed with Weston Littlefield, Dalton Gomez, and Aaron Kirman of the Aaron Kirman Group at Compass. The price is available upon request. See more photos below.