Frank Lloyd Wright’s design – the King Kamehameha Golf Club -picture by Keith Ladage
Springfield, Illinois near where I live has the beautiful Dana Thomas house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. My husband Keith and I have enjoyed traveling to homes designed by Wright and admire his architectural style and we have become fascinated with the Lifetime like story of his life.
It was quite a surprise to find when visiting Maui, that the King Kamehameha Golf Course Clubhouse, formerly known as the Waikapu Valley Country used a Frank Lloyd Wright design long after Wright had passed away in 1959.
The clubhouse which spans 74,000 square feet and is surrounded by a pristine course can be toured by the public. We happened to catch it on Super Bowl Sunday after a rain when the course was closed for golfing so they allowed us free rein to wonder and see the combination of Wright’s design, Hawaiian history and the King Kamhameha elegance.
The Clubhouse Guide provides the history of how this design came to be. “In 1949, American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, drew the original plans for the clubhouse as a concept for a 7,000 sq. ft. luxury home in Fort Worth, Texas. However, the plans were never used.”
Later in 1952, the design was again brought out for Raul Bailleres, a cabinet member of the Mexican Government. Adjustments were made and everything was on track until Mr. Bailleres’ young son was killed in an automobile accident. The next couple to see the design was author Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe in 1957 when they wanted a large country home in Roxbury, Connecticut. This was when the design became known as the “Marilyn Monroe House”.
When the couple split, the design was again shelved, and then Wright passed away. The brochure continues the story. “It wasn’t until 1988 that the archived plans were enlarged and adapted to build the 74,000 sq. ft. clubhouse on the slopes of Waikapu, Maui. It was completed and opened for business in 1993. The former owners and operators closed the golf course and clubhouse in 1999, due to the downturn of the economy. The property was abandoned and neglected for nearly six years. However, during this time, the large rooms were still used for banquet functions. In July 2004, the property was purchased by the current owner. Renovation of the golf course and clubhouse took approximately 18 months before it reopened in May 2006 as Maui’s first 18-hole member golf club.“
The club house is taking your breath away beautiful with Wrights art glass and abstract geometric designs inspired by nature. The doors, the flow of the building and everything in between is worth a stop if on the beautiful island.
Log onto www.Kamehameha.Golf.com for more information.
would guess that a golf club built in