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Sotheby’s Realty Lists Historic Rancho San Carlos in Montecito

The 237-acre historic Rancho San Carlos estate in Montecito is the exclusive listing of Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., the real estate brokerage firm announced Thursday.

With more than 30 rooms spanning approximately 29,000 square feet, the estate is offered at $125 million by Harry Kolb and Suzanne Perkins, sales associates affiliated with the Sotheby’s International Realty Montecito brokerage.

“For nearly 100 years, this Monterey colonial has been under the ownership of one family,” Kolb said. “It is our honor to be charged with listing this spectacular estate in one of the most exclusive sections of Southern California.”

The hilltop manor is situated at the end of a long, curving driveway edged with Santa Barbara stone and surrounded by citrus groves. The barrel vaulted central gallery, which connects the lower level to the upper bedroom wings, is lined with hand-painted period murals and windowed display cases and overlooks a formal inner courtyard.

“This extraordinary property was designed in 1931 by master architect Reginald Johnson, who was the pre-eminent architect of the era,” Perkins said. “His architectural ingenuity is no better showcased than in his brilliant use of the natural slope and contours of the property, offering panoramic vistas across the valley to the Pacific.”

Oak paneled rooms feature moldings, finials and mantle pieces taken from a manor home in Great Britain in the 1920s. With its ocean-viewing south terrace, the oversized living room features two fireplaces and crystal chandeliers. A secret hallway leads from the light-filled library to the living room where a hidden door opens to reveal a staircase that descends to an authentic English whisky pub, complete with wooden casks, a long oak bar, stone fireplace and ample seating.

A card room at the entrance to the dining room features silver foil art-deco wallpaper and lacquered card tables. The dining room is located at the eastern end of the central gallery and has a private stone terrace for al-fresco dining overlooking formal parterre gardens. The dining room is served by two large butler’s pantries that include a stainless island and counters and retain the original vintage ovens and refrigerators. Beyond the kitchens are a staff dining room, employee lounge and sitting room, plus three service bedrooms.

The large master suite enjoys both ocean and mountain views and features a fireplace, period décor, oversized bath tiled in a deco motif, dressing room with numerous built-in closets and spa-size bathroom with separate dressing area. A tower office with panoramic views is located above the master suite and is accessed by an exterior staircase.

One important feature of the property is its uninterrupted access to water via seven agricultural water meters and three water storage reservoirs. The property receives 50 percent of a water diversion system from adjacent Romero Creek that is piped directly into the reservoirs.

The estate also features a five-car garage, one stall service garage, 10 residential cottages and an office building. Equestrian facilities include two stables, a 10-stall round barn built in 1928, an 11-stall rectangular wood frame and stucco barn, and a covered riding arena of approximately 11,250 square feet built in 1930.

The Rancho San Carlos can be viewed by clicking here.

— Bradley Nelson is a senior vice president of marketing for Sotheby’s International Realty.

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