Back in 2005, Daniel Baker founded what has become the largest digital aviation and flight-tracking operation in the world. Though he hasn’t been involved in day-to-day operations of Houston-based FlightAware since last year — relinquishing his role as CEO after the company was acquired by Collins Aerospace — the veteran tech and aviation executive is still a frequent flyer, soaring out of Texas to procure an elegant mansion in Santa Barbara County’s posh seaside enclave of Montecito.
Records show Baker recently doled out $18.6 million for his new French Provencal-inspired spread, which offers picturesque ocean and mountain views from its site on a prestigious street in the heart of the Golden Quadrangle.
Built in the late 1990s, and since extensively renovated by its previous owners, the stately residence comes complete with a five-bedroom, six-bath main house featuring just over 7,500 square feet of living space on two levels. Additional structures include a one-bedroom, one-bath guest cottage and three-car garage.
Tucked away behind a lengthy gated driveway, on an acre-plus parcel of land laced with manicured lawns and gardens, the creamy stucco and brick-accented main house is fronted by an entry courtyard bolstered by an ornate fountain and fire-pit lounge area. Inside, rustic yet stylish interiors are adorned throughout with high wood-beam ceilings, rich hardwood floors, materials imported from France and numerous French doors providing seamless indoor-outdoor environs.
Main-level highlights include formal living and dining rooms, and a cozy fireside family room that connects to a country-style kitchen outfitted with an eat-in island, high-end stainless appliances and a wine cooler, as well as an accompanying breakfast nook.
Upstairs, the spacious master retreat offers a separate fireside sitting area that opens to a private balcony, and spa-like bath sporting a soaking tub and walk-in shower. Elsewhere is an 1,800-bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar and wet bar-equipped billiard room.
The posh amenities continue outdoors, where the park-like grounds host a pool wrapped by a sundeck, tennis court with viewing platform, bocce ball court, kitchen and bar setup, and plenty of spots ideal for al fresco dining and entertaining.