Beach Boys Mansion & Texas Cowboy Landmark


Beach Boy Mike Love’s Mansion Has Everything Except a Beach

Still touring and giving motivation to another generation of those who dream about having Fun, Fun, Fun with one eye out for the next good wave and the other on bikinied California GirlsThe Beach Boys’ last original member, Mike Love, is still touring and belting out the Good Vibrations songs at age 79.  Love, co-writer of many of the songs that were the California Sound and lead vocalist, is selling his Rancho Santa Fe, California estate now that he spends his off-the-road time at his home at Lake Tahoe. It is priced at $8.65 million.

Mike first appeared with his three cousins Brian, Carl and Dennis Wilson and friend Al Jardine as a musical group in the summer of 1961 under the name The Pendletones, but discovered that their name had been changed to The Beach Boys on their first single, Surfin. Late that year, Surfin hit the Top 40 on the national Billboard charts, the beginning of the California Sound. Prolific songwriters, mostly Brian and Mike, the group stood out for its staying power, even during the onslaught of The Beatles. It also put Southern California, on the map of imagination full of sunny days, good waves and pretty girls  – far better than the state’s Chamber of Commerce. Surfin’ USA, Surfin’ Safari, Surfer Girl and other great beach songs and movies soared in popularity during the 1960s. But the group, with their own unique, easygoing sound, continued to attract new fans long after the surf culture had run its course.

High on a hill overlooking the mountains, ocean, city and golf courses on 3.5 acres, Love’s 17,515-square-foot mansion is located on one of the best plots in the gated community of Fairbanks Ranch. Much like a private resort, who needs a beach when you have a pool that encircles a spa that feels like being on a private island accessed by a bridge? The tropical grounds also have a swim-up bar, fire pit and tennis court – all with staggering long-distance views. Inside rooms are vast and surfaced with elegant finishes. There are eight bedrooms, nine baths, a chef’s eat-in kitchen and outdoor kitchen. The upper terrace overlooks the pool terrace with a tropical path to the tennis court and lockers below. Though it may not have a beach, there is plenty of water including a three-tiered fountain that was designed after the fountains of Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy.

Legendary co-founder of The Beach Boys and lead vocalist, Mike Love, is selling his glamorous Southern California mansion. Priced at $8.65 million, the listing agent is Linda Sansone of Willis Allan Real Estate, Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Austin’s Historic Palazzo Lavaca – Was Once Capitol Saddlery

One of America’s fastest growing towns and tech hot spots, Austin, Texas has retained much of its Old West vibe and vibrant history including an 1890 building that was first a firehouse and then the world-famous Capitol Saddlery where custom-made-cowboy boots were sold for thousands of dollars. Later, it was reborn as a stunning residence and event space while retaining much of its historical charm. Now for sale, the former Capitol Saddlery is priced at $4.95 million including the boot above the home’s entrance.

The unassuming building facade could easily be taken for almost any other Austin building near the University of Texas were it not for the gigantic neon-lit boot above the entrance – a clue that it was formerly home to Capitol Saddlery. The owner was T.C. “Buck” Steiner, a gruff rodeo rider with up to 100 employees, but the star was Charlie Dunn, a boot maker that Jerry Jeff Walker wrote a song about in 1972.  Known as the “Michelangelo of cowboy boots,” Charlie charged as much as $3,000 a pair and had a three-year waiting list. The wait didn’t phase clients like Gene Autry, Slim Pickens, Arnold Palmer, Carol King and even Al Capone.

Charlie died in 1993 and the Steiner family moved Capitol Saddlery to a new location in 2007. In 2008, the building was totally transformed by its new owners into Palazzo Lavaca, a stunning residence and event space. While maintaining its Old West character in the original floorboards, exposed brick and some worn paint surfaces, it has introduced an upscale cowboy-and-cowgirl look with coffered-living-room ceiling, Italian chandeliers, Fortuny wallpaper and gold-leaf ballroom. Measuring in at 6,780 square feet of living space, it has three bedrooms, three full baths and four half baths. In addition to huge multi-use rooms, the kitchen is large enough for catering but also for producing family meals, ensuite bedrooms are elegant, the media and game room is large and comfy and it all opens out to a rear courtyard that still retains artifacts from the boot business.

Austin isn’t just about producing music celebrities such as Janis Joplin and Stevie Ray Vaughan, it’s about ideas and creativity that runs the gamut and is grandly displayed in Palazzo Lavaca. Now for sale, Palazzo Lavaca is priced at $4.95 million listed by Kumara Wilcoxon of Kuper Sotheby’s International Realty in Austin.

Visit for more celebrity, historic and spectacular homes and real estate news.