A Slice of Beatle History Hits the Palm Beach Market

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(Christian Angle Realty)

Imagine: John Lennon living just a mile up the road from President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago estate. Seriously. But it could have happened. The Palm Beach mega-manse he and wife Yoko Ono purchased in 1980 recently hit the market for a mind-blowing $47.5 million.  

Set on almost two acres, the 14,145-square-foot Spanish-style property sports over 180 feet of ocean frontage. Uber-luxe amenities include sunrise and sunset swimming pools, tennis court, beachfront cabana, pool house, oversized fireplaces, and stunning architectural details.

Aerial view of the Palm Beach estate in 1980.
Aerial view of the Palm Beach estate in 1980. (Davidoff Studios)

Water views are abundant. The dining room, grand salon, library, and master wing all look out to the ocean. By the numbers, there are six additional bedrooms, nine baths, and three powder rooms.

And talk about pedigree roots. The estate was originally built in 1919 by famed society architect Addison Mizner.

Dining room with a view. (Christian Angle Realty)

Listing agent Christian Angle told the Wall Street Journal that the home has “all the grandeur you would expect of the 1920s,” including elaborate hand-stenciled ceilings and coquina stone accents.

The Palm Beach manse sports many of the original details.
The Palm Beach manse sports many original details. (Christian Angle Realty)

There’s also the celeb-factor. In addition to the POTUS, singer Rod Stewart has a home nearby. Author James Patterson lives next door.

What intrigues us most is the property’s storied, pop culture Beatle connection.

The house was purchased via Polaroid pictures, according to Robert Rosen, author of Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon. They feared that their presence would “freak people out and drive up the price.” The couple sent an assistant instead, who would say he represented a businessman who preferred to remain anonymous.

John and Yoko purchased the property without actually seeing it.
John and son, Julian, in December 1974 at the Sun and Surf condo, Palm Beach. (Davidoff Studios)

The WSJ also sites James P. Goss’ book Pop Culture Florida. “Lennon was often chased by giddy teenagers while driving down the well-manicured streets of Palm Beach in his red Cadillac,” the book said.

Additional digging reveals more about Lennon’s long-time affinity for South Florida. According to a 2018 article in the Palm Beach Post, he went for walks along the ocean, lounged by the pool, and even enjoyed a trip to Disney World (where he went mostly unrecognized by the Magic Kingdom crowds).

“I like it here,” said Lennon.

“I really don’t want to leave Palm Beach. I’d like to own a piece of it,” he told a Palm Beach Daily News reporter during a 1974 Christmas holiday visit, reportedly his first to the island. In January, 1980, that’s exactly what he did.

John Lennon with Yoko Ono outside The Breakers in February, 1980. (Pat Partington/The Palm Beach Post)

From there, the story takes a tragic turn. Lennon’s days as a Palm Beach homeowner were tragically cut short. He was murdered just 11 months later in front of his New York City apartment.

After his death, renovations of the Palm Beach property would take several years.

Ono, who didn’t spend much time there, sold it in 1986 for $3.15 million. (The house’s most recent sale fetched $23.05 million in 2018.)

If you’re doing math, that’s less than half of today’s eye-popping $47+ mill price tag. The bottom line? How much a slice of Beatle history—not to mention, 22 beachfront rooms—is worth.

Listing agency for 720 S. Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, is Angle Real Estate.