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A stone home with polish

March 22, 2009|Dinah Eng

A classic California Mission-style rancho home and estate in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu sits as an homage to a bygone era, surrounded by caves, orchards and riding and hiking trails in Agoura.

Originally built in 1928 by Glenn Deuel, a Los Angeles real estate broker and investor, the property served as a hunting lodge until it was bought by a doctor and his wife, who willed the ranch to Stanford University.

The 20-acre property was eventually divided into parcels, with the original lodge and 10 acres purchased in 1976 by current owners Leah and Paul Culberg, who restored and expanded the house. The couple later purchased the adjacent 10-acre parcel as well.

"The house is built of stone, all taken from the canyon, that's blue-green with copper running through it," Leah Culberg says. "It's a traditional Mission rancho house where you don't have any halls. One room is accessible to another, and there are views of waterfalls from most every window. When it rains, it looks like Hawaii."

Every room in the house opens to a brick patio or the central courtyard, which has a fish pond and fountain. Part of the house features maple hardwood flooring, with the rest done in antique French tiles that have animal prints in them.

"Apparently, when they laid the tiles out to dry, chickens, cats and dogs walked over them," Culberg says. "We have original Malibu tile in the bathrooms, and reproduction Malibu tile in the kitchen and living room."

There are multiple fireplaces in the house, and hand-wrought iron balconies overlook the spa, pool, pool house and gardens. A patio built with native rock and a traditional ranch barbecue sit near a 1,200-square-foot garage with guest quarters.

The pool house, which has a kitchen, wine center, sauna and exercise room, can be used as a guesthouse or entertainment center. The property also has a barn, potting shed and corrals.


To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Lauren Beale, Real Estate, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Questions may be sent to



Nestled in the mountains

Location: 32063 Lobo Canyon Road, Agoura 91301

Asking price: $6,575,000

Previously sold for: $110,000 in 1976

Size: There are three bedrooms, an office and two bathrooms in 2,900 square feet.

Additional features: Gated compound, spa, 52-foot-long pool with a waterfall and a weir, herb garden, outdoor shower, citrus orchard and deciduous fruit tree orchard.

Around the neighborhood: In 2008, 89 single-family homes sold in the 91301 ZIP Code at a median price of $750,000, according to MDA DataQuick, a decrease of 11.2% from 2007. Last week there were 247 houses listed for sale on in the ZIP Code, ranging in price from $275,000 to $7.95 million.

Listing agent: Suzanne Thomas, Sotheby's International Realty, Westlake Village, (818) 416-8480.

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