California’s real estate history really begins in 1850 with land grants that endowed families with large swaths of land. The history of California’s Rancho San Leandro in what is now Montecito, began when the land was originally developed by the Dominguez family in the mid-1850’s as part of one of California’s largest land grants.
The property sits on a knoll of nearly six acres overlooking the Pacific and gently shadowed by the Santa Ynez Mountains. The surrounding area evolved from polo fields where celebrities such as Clark Gable frolicked to become the exclusive gated community of Ennisbrook. The Rancho San Leandro compound includes the original adobe home built in the 1850s, as well as Monterey House, a grand home built in the early 2000s but mirroring the grace of an earlier era, and an equestrian center.
The main drive is flanked by 50 ancient olive trees and leads to the large, stone covered motor court and entry fountain.
The adobe home has stood the test of time with thick plaster walls, aged redwood beams, and original Saltillo tiles that reflect the patina of an earlier era. Sprawling covered verandas offer welcome shade. A large living and dining room overlooks the south-facing lawn off toward the ocean. Monumental fireplaces ground the space while deeply recessed windows and beamed ceilings provide cool expansiveness. A spacious master suite, with massive hand-hewed beamed ceilings and a cozy fireplace, overlooks the sea and offers access to the lush gardens and olive groves.
The Monterey House is a newer sister structure that adds approximately 3,600 square feet of living space. Built in the same style as the adobe it could serve as a main residence, guest house, or office space. With robust beams, tiled floors, Santa Barbara stone fireplaces and plastered walls, the two-bedroom home is an updated take on traditional Spanish style romance.
The home offers two bedrooms, one with mountain views and the other with an ocean view balcony, a charming living room, a formal dining room, private gardens and terraces, the ultimate home office and a gym.
The grounds of Rancho San Leandro included gardens, drought tolerant succulents, courtyards and meandering pathways. A horse paddock offers four covered stalls. A large, tack room with a half-bath, kitchenette and storage area complete the stable area. A fenced arena is an idyllic setting for horse training.
Rancho San Leandro is listed for $8.225 million with Village Properties and is showcased on LuxuryPortfolio.com.
Deidre Woollard served as the lead editor on Luxist.com for six years writing about real estate, auctions, jewelry and luxury goods. Her love for luxury real estate led her to work at realtor.com and two of the top real estate brokerages in Los Angeles as well as doing publicity for properties around the world.