Remembering Tita

By Richard Mineards   |   December 6, 2018
Tita Lanning R.I.P.

On a personal note, I mark the passing of Tita Lanning, chatelaine of Montecito’s historic El Mirador estate, just three days before her 85th birthday.

The sprawling property was bought by her grandmother, Lolita Sheldon Armour, in 1914 and was known for its beautiful Japanese and Italian gardens.

Tita, the daughter of Lolita Armour of the Armour meat packing company in Chicago, and Jack Mitchell, a founder of United Airlines, knew everybody, having been given a pony as a youngster by Walt Disney, and including among her friends Charles Lindbergh, Shirley Temple, and Julia Child.

She was known for her philanthropy and volunteered the estate, which was formerly 70 acres, but eventually sub-divided and parceled off, for events as diverse as Hillside House, where we first met, and the Santa Barbara Writers Conference.

Sightings: Oscar winner Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones noshing at Olio Pizzeria… Billy Baldwin checking out The Monarch… Carol Burnett at the Bacara


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