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NEIGHBORLY ADVICE: Mandeville Canyon

In rustic Mandeville Canyon, where the deer and the Hollywood stars play

February 07, 2009|Leslie Anne Wiggins

Miles away from the bustle of the Sunset Strip and the glitz of Beverly Hills, there's another place where Hollywood lives: the leafy Brentwood neighborhood of Mandeville Canyon. A ranch once owned by actors Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck is on the market, and the canyon's also been home to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Richard Widmark, Eva Marie Saint and Robert Mitchum. Around here, however, the focus is more on the stars in the sky and the natural beauty.

Mandeville Canyon was known as Casa Viejo Canon in the late 1800s. A version of the current name appeared on a map after the turn of the last century as "Mandiville Canyon."

Polo fields were established in the 1920s, and players and thoroughbred breeders built homes and stables in the canyon. An elaborate botanical garden, with plantings from all over the world, was also established at this time.

Then and now

During the 1932 Summer Olympics, the canyon was used for several equestrian events.

Today, a popular activity is exploring the canyon's trails, by foot or by horseback, or simply walking the main road, which is at some places equipped with fenced off walking paths. A steady flow of traffic travels through the canyon during the day, with drivers being careful around bicyclists.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, February 14, 2009 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Ranch owners: The Feb. 7 Home section's Neighborly Advice column, which spotlighted Brentwood's Mandeville Canyon neighborhood, incorrectly stated that Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck had owned a ranch there. The ranch had been owned by Taylor and his second wife, Ursula Thiess.

Insiders' views

Eric Edmunds, a 23-year Mandeville resident, is an avid outdoorsman who likes living in the canyon for its remarkable views from 1,000 feet above sea level, as well as for the trails and fire roads he uses to train for long-distance races.

He noted with enthusiasm all the creatures that share the canyon.

"We have coyotes, mountain lions, deer, rattlesnakes, roadrunner birds and about everything else under the sun," said Edmunds, who is president of the Brentwood Hills Homeowners Assn. and works in Century City as a business and real estate lawyer.

But it takes effort to keep the canyon safe for pedestrians, said Kathleen Durbin, president of the Mandeville Canyon Assn., which works with the city of Los Angeles as well as residents to maintain and improve the paths.

Like Edmunds, Durbin also appreciates the canyon's rich wildlife, even the deer that "brazenly eat our roses each year."

Housing stock

A mix of ranch-style, Spanish, French Normandy and modern homes line the can- yon. With more than 20 homes currently on the market, there is a broad selection available, from relatively modest to grandiose.

A bright five-bedroom, 4 1/2 -bathroom home built in 1991 is listed at $2,395,000.

It was designed by architect David Applebaum, who has worked on home alterations and additions for stars including comedian Bob Hope and actress Diane Keaton.

On the higher end of the price spectrum, the old Stanwyck-Taylor homestead, with six bedrooms and eight bathrooms in 11,726 square feet of living space on 112 acres, is available for sale at $65 million or for lease at $339,694 per month.

The Brentwood ZIP Code that includes Mandeville Canyon, 90049, had 201 existing single-family home sales in 2008 for a median sales price of $2.05 million -- a 4.6% increase over the 2007 median, according to DMA DataQuick.

Report card

Public schools in the area are part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Elementary school children living in Mandeville Canyon may attend Kenter Canyon Charter Elementary, which scored 924 out of a possible 1,000 on the 2008 Academic Performance Index Growth Report. The middle school, Paul Revere Junior High, scored 837, and Palisades Charter High School, 797.


Sources:;; Barry Kinyon, Prudential Malibu Realty,

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