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A Rare Opportunity to own the Palmyra Estate in Montecito

aerial view of a Montecito estate surrounded by trees and a view of the Pacific OceanMY NEW LISTING IS A PIECE OF MONTECITO’S HISTORIC EL MIRADOR ESTATE

Imagine owning the Palmyra estate in Montecito: a historic, breathtaking and very private 4.5-acre grand property. Originally part of a large family-owned 70-acre estate known as El Mirador, meaning “The Viewpoint”, Palmyra certainly will be appreciated by its new owners for its amazing ambiance that evokes a sort of joie de vivre. I love this Mediterranean home, its lovely guesthouse and vintage pool house.

The main residence has rich, warm wood floors and masterfully crafted cabinetry and paneling. All the rooms are large in scale but offer a sense of intimate comfort. This spectacular home offers much, much more. I invite you to take a tour on my website.

Early 20th-century history

The Palmyra estate in Montecito is part of a rich history that dates to the early 1900s when many of America’s wealthy individuals from the East Coast and Midwest discovered the beauties of our oak-covered hills. They were inspired to build palatial homes and create world-class estates for either permanent or part-time residence.

Lolita Armour, daughter of Jonathan Ogden Armour, a Chicago meatpacking heir, fell in love with this piece of property. Her father eventually bought the land for her as her wedding present upon her marriage to John J. Mitchell Jr., a Chicago aviation businessman who became a co-founder of United Airlines, and co-founder of Santa Barbara’s Rancheros Visitadores in 1930.

The couple was once considered one of America’s wealthiest married couples, with combined fortunes estimated to be at more than $120 million. (That’s nearly $3 billion in today’s dollars.)

Transforming the amazing grounds

Just as Elmer Awl was put in charge of transforming the original grounds into one of the most fabulous estates in Montecito, with a 500-foot-long formal Italian garden and streams cascading down seven terraces, Palmyra’s landscape designer and grounds team have transformed its more than 4 acres into the beautiful idyll it is today.

In addition to the gardens, the original estate had a dairy, poultry farm, vegetable gardens, and avocado and lemon orchards. It was also the site of a small zoo with two bears, a wallaby, and macaws, in addition to any number of dogs and cats. In fact, one of the bears used to accompany Elmer Awl when he came to town to shop at the hardware store.

Although the new owners of the Palmyra estate will have to take the short drive to the popular Santa Barbara Zoo, they’ll have plenty of things to entertain them without having to leave home. Swimming in the lovely pool, enjoying a few sets of tennis on the lighted court, and strolling throughout the grounds while admiring tropical and native flora are sure to please family and guests.

A Montecito Jewel

At its height, El Mirador was one of Montecito’s jewels. Today, the jewel is manifest in Palmyra, one of five parcels comprising the original estate.

You can own this jewel of jewels. Call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at to schedule a private showing. Meantime, if you’re considering listing your property or thinking about purchasing a home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities I’m here to help

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