Santa Barbara real estate: Viewing Solana

Chris Reisbeck

Chris Reisbeck

Santa Barbara real estateI previewed amazing Santa Barbara real estate with Agency representatives recently. We zipped over in a private plane owned by lender Daniel Arias for a private tour of the gorgeous property.

The Santa Barbara home is one of Montecito’s original Hilltop Baron estates. The Solana estate — a blend of modern sophistication and historic grandeur — spans 11.2 knoll-top acres with 360-degree views of the entire Montecito Valley past Santa Barbara’s downtown waterfront and south to the Channel Islands.

As we were able to see from our view in the sky, Solana’s vistas are vast, ranging from the sweeping valley to the east, the Pacific to the south and the Santa Ynez mountains to the north.

See Solana’s listing details

Santa Barbara real estate a restored beauty

The Agency’s Stefan Pommepuy, Santiago Arana, and Mauricio Umansky hosted a private preview at the estate, which recently underwent a three-year restoration spearheaded by architect Don Nulty and interior designer Joan Behnke.

Solana was built in 1914 by Frederick Forrest Peabody and designed by Francis T. Underhill. The restoration of the 22,000-square-foot estate worked to preserve its historical integrity while including world-class amenities of a modern-day masterpiece. A stately entrance foyer facing a courtyard filled with palm trees welcomes visitors. The modern wing holds three guest suites and a mountain-view loggia. The south wing holds the kitchen, family rooms, and master suite. The expansive east-facing wing includes grand-scale public rooms for entertaining.

Solana’s exquisite grandeur

Santa Barbara real estate with the Agency

The home offers unique touches. A beamed ceiling in the kitchen was salvaged from a pre-WWII hangar. The home also includes a beauty salon, a plush theater, a wine room, and a formal library with coffered ceilings. A wood-paneled reception room resurrected from a French oak boiserie that belonged to William Randolph Hearst is another highlight in the home. The opulent master suite is replete with an 18th century French limestone fireplace, antique crystal chandelier, dual bathrooms and closets by White House wardrobe designer Programme Martine.

Oversized French doors line the living spaces, opening to romantic terraces and airy loggias that embrace the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The grounds include expansive loggias, a statuary, turtle pond, swimming pool, and one of the finest botanical gardens in the Santa Barbara area, with more than 200 fruit trees, 500 rose bushes, and a 19th-century European limestone pergola. The property also has a fully equipped, two-bedroom guest house and staff apartment.

Solana has been compared to the Getty Villa and Hearst Castle. The site of a prominent American think tank from 1958 to 1978, the century-old estate counts John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King among its esteemed guests.

It was truly an honor to tour such a grand Santa Barbara real estate listing and see firsthand its marriage of modern sophistication and historic grandeur!  


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