July 21, 2024
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Pierpont Cottages property near Ojai donated to Thacher School


Eric Goode, a filmmaker, conservationist and nightlife entrepreneur, bought the Pierpont Cottages property just outside of Ojai earlier this year, but he didn’t keep it for long.

In March, Goode bought the property from Philip Pierpont, III, Robert Pierpont and Lawrence Sorenson, who was acting as a special trustee of the Philip and Mary Pierpont Trust. In August, a few months after Goode bought the property, he donated the 5 acres that include the cottages to Thacher School, a private boarding school just east of the Pierpont property.

The Pierpont family had owned the cottages property since the 1890s, and in the early days the hotel and cottages they built there were often used as lodging for people visiting Thacher School, according to a historical study prepared for the city of Ojai in 2009.

The school is situated on 427 acres and has a $176 million endowment. The donation was assessed by the county of Ventura to be worth about $227,000, though the market value of 5 acres in the Ojai Valley would be much higher. The price Goode paid for the property was not disclosed.

At the same time Goode bought the property he donated to Thacher, he also bought the surrounding 20 or so acres of land, which was not part of the donation to the school.

According to a New York Times article from 2015, which described Ojai and Goode’s deep connection to the area, his father taught at Thacher School in the 1960s. From the 1980s through the early 2000s, Goode opened some of New York City’s signature nightclubs, restaurants and hotels, and in 2020 he was an executive producer and co-director of the Netflix documentary series Tiger King. He is the founder of The Turtle Conservancy and has a conservation center in the Ojai area devoted to endangered turtles and tortoises.