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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Tour Offers Look at Holiday Homes

November 18, 2000|GAIL DAVIS

OJAI — The public can get a peek this weekend inside the homes of a Hollywood director, an art collector, a Russian dancer and the widow of a U.S. senator during the fourth annual Holiday Home Look In.

The self-guided tour, scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday, includes a home built in the 1930s by Ojai architect Austin Pierpont for Mary Beatrice Bard, widow of Thomas R. Bard, a U.S. senator from California and founder of Union Oil Co. Pierpont's family founded Ventura's Pierpont Inn in 1910.

Michael and Ann Morris, current owners of the Bard home, spent two years restoring the two-acre property. Architectural features include a curved ceiling and bay windows in a long hall leading to the bedroom wing. The grounds have three of only 17 distinctive "cork" oak trees in the Ojai Valley, and a 120-year-old bonsai.

Also on the tour is the home of Leone and Guy Webster. The home was built in 1948 when the barn from Ojai's Soule Ranch was relocated to a three-acre site by C. Kahn Bashiroff, a Russian ballet dancer. Bashiroff used the barn as a cornerstone to build the house, and later owners added to the converted residence.

The Whale Rock House, owned by Hollywood director David Zucker and his wife, Danielle, also began with a barn. Zucker is best known for the 1980 movie "Airplane!" and the "Naked Gun" movies. Architect Marc Appleton used wood from a dismantled Montana barn along with river rock and flagstone to create a rustic home with a sweeping view of Ojai.

The final home is a rambling, 50-year-old barn-red house owned by Roger "Biff" Johnson, a producer of television commercials, and his wife, Catherine, an interior and set designer and drama coach. The ranch-style home is built of wood and river rock and is filled with artwork, country French furniture and a gilt mirror that once hung in a Tennessee bordello.

The tour is sponsored by the Ojai Festival women's committee to support music education programs in Ojai and Ventura schools.

Tickets, which are $20 in advance or $25 on the days of the tour, can be purchased at the Ojai Festival ticket office, 201 S. Signal St. For more information, call 646-2053.

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