Every year the Ojai Music Festival has a house tour to help raise funds. This was the 61st year of the Festival and there was what has to have been the crowning jewel of houses on the tour. It was the Whitman House as noted on The One Ring on November 7th. This stunning home was designed and built by noted architect Marc Whitman and his wife Julia. Julias father bought the original home that had been built in the 1930s as part of a cattle ranch. Marc remodeled the home in two phases with an eye to influence by art nouveau and gothic revival especially Antoni Gaudi and Bernard Maybeck. The delightful result is a home that, to a Tolkien fans eyes, looks like a combination of a hobbit hole and Rivendell.
Mr. Whitmans philosophy is that Nature is the standard on which we weigh our sense of beauty. The home and gardens (as designed by Mrs. Whitman) fit as seamlessly into the natural landscape of the hills of Ojai as any elfin home. Each room of the home is a cozy individually sculpted creation that would please the most discerning hobbit. Mr. Whitman believes Integrating architecture and nature is the ultimate marriage of mind and heart.
Mr. and Mrs. Whitman had a charming story about the round hobbit door of their home. That part of the house was completed just two weeks after the opening of Peter Jacksons Fellowship of the Ring. They were teased at how lovely their hobbit door was, as though they had somehow put it together in just a few weeks!
If you are interested in learning more about the other works of Mr. Whitman please visit his website at whitman-architect.com. If you would like to learn more about the Ojai Music Festival please visit their website at ojaifestival.org.
I would like to personally thank Mr. and Mrs. Whitman for the privilege of photographing their beautiful home.