The Palm Beach mansion of John Lennon and Yoko Ono is on the market. Far removed from Lennon’s working class roots in Liverpool, the price tag reflects both the building’s former owners and spectacular nature – $47.5 million!
Referred to as ‘El Solano’, the Florida estate covers 1.3 acres. It has 7 bedrooms in the main house, as well as a cottage to accommodate guests on site. Dating back to 1925, the beach side property retains many of its period features. These include coquina stone (sedimentary rock) accents and ceilings that are hand-stencilled.
El Solano was designed by Addison Mizner, the noted architect. His focus on the Mediterranean Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival styles proved highly influential, and are seen frequently in the Florida area. Another one of Mizner’s modern architectural wonders is the Everglades Club (1919). This rock star of the bricks and mortar scene passed away in 1933. And Lennon purchased the mansion with Yoko Ono shortly before his own demise at the hands of Mark Chapman in New York, 1980.
— Laura (@dandylauralee) May 8, 2020
Website Ultimate Classic Rock mentions the former Beatle’s enthusiasm for the place. “According to the book Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon, the rock icon was especially fond of this sun-soaked paradise” it writes, before going on to quote from Robert Rosen’s 2000 biography. “‘Suddenly, all seemed well’ for Lennon after he relocated here, the book notes. ‘Maybe it was just the gloomy Dakota and the oppressive New York City winter that had had him feeling down. In ‘God’s Waiting Room,’ as Palm Beach is called, he could breathe again.’”
Architectural Digest talks about the sale itself, also documented by Rosen. Keeping a low profile, Lennon and Yoko didn’t visit El Solano prior to purchasing. Instead they relied on Polaroids, concealing themselves behind the identity of an anonymous businessman. As befitting such a deeply spiritual pair, Yoko’s “council of seers” helped them look at the snaps and come to a decision. By sheer coincidence, religiously-titled company Christian Angle Real Estate (actually founded in 2006 by Christian J. Angle) are handling the sale.
Reminder that John Lennon bought this house after writing Imagine.https://t.co/VcPI4nh7OS
— Ese (@EseConActitud) May 13, 2020
John Lennon isn’t the only famous name connected to Palm Beach. Author James Patterson lives next door, though people might be forgiven for thinking the houses were joined. “One unusual architectural feature is that the property actually shares a wall with a two-story guest apartment owned by Patterson,” writes Architectural Digest, “which, in turn, is linked to Patterson’s main house by a second-floor bridge. It therefore appears as though Lennon and Ono’s former home and Patterson’s are linked, though they are not.”
The palm beach interior has a typically lavish feel, though Lennon and Yoko reportedly wanted to make changes. “Chandeliers hang throughout the home – not that you’d often need them” says Ultimate Classic Rock. “The house is built with natural light in mind, as almost every room features large windows to let the sun’s rays in.”
There are also many of the details a buyer would come to expect from one of America’s premier playgrounds. “The property includes two pools: one in the front for sunrise and the other in the rear for sunset” writes Ultimate Classic Rock, summing up the opulence in store. However it doesn’t end there. “A separate pool house features its own guest bedroom, laundry, kitchen and bathroom. There’s also a tennis court with a pavilion and a standalone oceanfront cabana.”
After renovations, Yoko sold El Solano on for $3.15 million in 1986. Over 3 decades later, an enormous cost has become astronomical. While the Beatles’ private purchases are back in the spotlight, their creative legacy is also making headlines. Julien’s Auctions of LA got their hands on Paul McCartney’s handwritten lyrics to Hey Jude. The hammer went down for a cool $910,000 last month.