Mendenhall Estate in Topanga Canyon Feels Like a Tuscan Resort

Play bocce ball, soccer or tennis, stroll through the organic orchards or take a dip in the saltwater pool with a view. Living here would make you feel like you’re on permanent vacation.

Photo by Riley Jamison A lengthy, manicured driveway leads to a circular motor court with a fountain and a porte-cochere leading to the garages. 

Topanga Canyon is like no other place in Los Angeles. Winding through the Santa Monica Mountains between the 101 and Pacific Coast Highway, it has the feeling of another time, another place. And although the 23-acre Mendenhall Estate was built here in 2004, it gives that same impression — L.A. or Tuscany? 2013 or 80 years earlier?

Once you’re on the property, you can close your eyes and forget that you’re about three miles from bustling Ventura Boulevard, the backbone of the San Fernando Valley. But you will want to remember that you’re within eight miles of the beach.

“It’s an oasis of privacy, but it’s also very convenient," says Gracee Arthur of Ewing & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty, who is handling the property. “I’ve been in this business for 22 years, and this is unlike any I’ve ever represented."

Photo by Riley Jamison A large, traditional-style saline pool gives the backyard a feeling of grace, elegance and history, reminiscent of grand California estates built early last century. 

The house itself encompasses about 12,000 square feet, with eight bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. A romantic master overlooks the mountain vistas from the second story, and includes a spa-like bath as well as spacious walk-in closets. Also on the second story is a separate children’s wing with a playroom, and a self-contained guest apartment.

Downstairs you’ll find formal living and dining rooms, a gourmet kitchen, a family/game room, and many outdoor living spaces, including a covered patio with a fireplace. There are mountain and canyon views everywhere you look.

Designed by the Biglin Architectural Group, the house features state-of-the-art electronics, sound and security systems to keep everyone safe, even though the property is located inside a gated community.

But it’s the landscaped grounds that really make this estate a standout. Of course there’s a saline swimming pool with spa and formal gardens, but there’s also a bocce court, lighted tennis court, full soccer lawn, organic orchards — there’s even room for a vineyard. Oh, and did we mention it’s zoned to be a horse property?

You’d think this estate would be tremendously expensive to maintain, but the solar panels take care of much of the electricity, water comes from a well on the property, and there’s a well-water reclamation system that helps keep everything green in more ways than one.

So it’s not as pricy as you might think it might be to maintain, but it’s probably about as costly as you’d expect to own. At $21.5 million, it has a spectacular price to go along with its spectacular features. Find out more at



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