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John Lennon’s Palm Beach Estate

Not many people know but John Lennon once owned a property among the rich and famous in Palm Beach, Florida due to the fact he spent little time there before his passing. Though Lennon has passed, the estate is still to this day is known as the Lennon Estate with the official name El Solano that only got bigger and better as time went on. 

Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono procured the Palm Beach Mansion in 1980 (the same year he passed), following his passing his life Yok renovated and sold the property that seems to be a continuing pattern since. The Palm Beach mansion at 720 S. Ocean Blvd. cost Lennon $725,000 in 1980 and the renovations increased the value to the recent selling price at $36 million. 

This property has a truly unique history as the mansion was designed by a well-known architect, Addison Mizer, that was built in 1919 influenced by Mediterranean design and later expanded that is common for Palm Beach properties. The original property sprawled across 2 acres with 180 feet of oceanfront with a private beach parcel across the coastal road. 

The previous owners in the 1960s and 1970s was wife Brownie McLean and husband John “Jack” McLean coming from a wealthy family who owned the Hope Diamond when it was privately collected. Later, the McLean family kept the property and rented it out that led to somewhat of a scandal. 

Palm Beach resident shortly gained media attention for a1976 tenant known as the creator of the salacious magazine Hustler, Larry Flynt, that competed with Playboy and used the property to conduct business. At first, Flynt concealed his identity during a two-year lease he signed with Brownie McLean. 

Flynt recalls having to sneak people in and out of the property for shoots at the estate for the Hustler magazine until his true identity was revealed when the locals demanded him out. Flynt moved back to California after his lease was finished. 

Lennon and Ono first visited the property renting the house for a month from 1979 from the late socialite Brownie McLean. Later Lennon and Ono purchased the property the same year of Lennon’s passing and leaving the property to Ono choosing to renovate it for six years then put it on the market for $3.15 million in 1986. The original property featured seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, three powder rooms, and over 14,000 square feet of living space among the property. 

Records indicate Ono sold the property to Howard A Farfardin 1990 with the deed held by Alan and Christine Curtis for a reported $4.3million. In January 2016, the property changed hands from the Curtises to Cindy and John C. Sites Jr. in a deal that the Siteses shared majority ownership with the trustee of the Sites 2010 Family Trust. 

The Siteses made major renovations to the El Solano property features a tennis court, a direct beach-front cabana, sunrise pool sunset pool, and original architectural details such as the oversized fireplaces. El Solano also includes an oceanfront dining room, grand salon, library, wet bar, seaside owner’s wing (with its own sitting room), a study, dual bathrooms, and a terrace. One of the most unique elements of this property is that it is designated as a landmark in 1980 that will protect the residence from significant alterations or demolition. 

The landmark process report described Mizner’s distinctive style and he reportedly occupied it upon completion, the house also bears a name dear to Mizer after a California county he used to live in that was sometimes misspelled as “El Salano.”