Knapp’s Castle | Santa Barbara, CA

The day after Ellwood Pier we got to visit Knapp’s Castle which is in the mountains high above the city of Santa Barbara.

Knapp’s Castle is a landmark ruined mansion in the Santa Ynez Mountains near Santa Barbara, California. Located near East Camino Cielo in the Los Padres National Forest, the ridge-top site has a panoramic view of Lake Cachuma and the Santa Ynez Valley. George Owen Knapp, founder of Union Carbide, built Knapp’s Castle shortly after purchasing the 160-acre (0.65 km2) parcel in 1916. In 1940, Frances Holden bought the property and invited her friend, world-famous opera singer Lotte Lehmann, to move in. The mansion was destroyed by a forest fire only five weeks later, and now only the massive sandstone foundations, fireplace pillars and walls of the original seven structures remain intact.

The shoot would have been better if it wasn’t for the owners who have now decided to move back onto the land and begin construction this very month, so these are the best shots I could get without revealing a motor home sitting right in the middle of the plot.

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