Maui Surprises: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Marilyn Monroe House

You too may have seen Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in Spring Green or Chicago, but did you know that Frank Lloyd Wright also designed a house for Marilyn Monroe–and that it is on Maui?

Painting of Frank Lloyd Wright  in The King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waihu, Maui

Painting of Frank Lloyd Wright in The King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu, Maui

Although Marilyn Monroe never had the house built, the plans were used to create the clubhouse for what is now The Kamehameha Golf Club.

The King Kamehameha Golf Club

The King Kamehameha Golf Club*

On the roof of  Frank Lloyd Wright's design for Marilyn Monroe

On the roof of Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for Marilyn Monroe*

Rounded corners, rounded windows

Rounded corners, rounded windows *

Landscaping contributes to design

Landscaping and statues contribute to the design*

In the spa - shapes are important in a Frank Lloyd Wright design

Even in the spa – shapes are important in a Frank Lloyd Wright design*

That's me -- reflected in a mirror in the men's spa (my one chance).  The men's spa is much bigger than the women's!

That’s me — reflected in a mirror in the men’s spa (my one chance).*

The men’s spa is much bigger than the women’s because, they say, more men are members.

Photo of Marilyn Monroe - in The King Kamehameha Golf Club women's spa.  *

Photo of Marilyn Monroe  hanging in The King Kamehameha Golf Club women’s spa. *

Frank Lloyd Wright windows

Frank Lloyd Wright windows*

From a private dining room looking out a Frank Lloyd Wright window.*

From a private dining room looking out a Frank Lloyd Wright window.*

Window reflections*

Window reflections*

According to an article by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi in a Special to the Star-Bulletin, “If circumstances had been different, the imposing rose-colored structure that stands in Waikapu, in the foothills of the West Maui Mountains, would have wound up as a vacation home for Marilyn Monroe and her playwright-husband Arthur Miller — instead of the clubhouse that’s the centerpiece of The King Kamehameha Golf Club.

In 1957, the jet-setting couple asked renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design an escape for them near rustic Roxbury, Connecticut . . .  [that included], among other features, a cinema with a film vault, a nursery and a swimming pool with a gentle slope leading to a running brook.

When the couple’s marriage dissolved in 1958, however, so did their dream of building the 10,000- to 14,000-square-foot country estate. Wright died the following year, and for the next 30 years, the blueprints were tucked away in the archives of Taliesin West, an architectural firm in Scottsdale, Ariz., that grew from Wright’s practice.

In 1988, Wright’s design was reborn after Hawaii entrepreneurs Howard Hamamoto and Masaru “Pundy” Yokouchi and their Tokyo business partner, Takeshi Sekiguchi, visited Taliesin West.”  (from <;.

Beautiful glass, beautiful details

Beautiful glass, beautiful details*
Ceiling light*

Stained-glass ceiling light*

Another Frank Lloyd Wright stained-glass ceiling light*

"The Marilyn Monroe House" set on a Maui golf course.*

“The Marilyn Monroe House” *

Come to Maui; you’ll discover other surprises.  

Aloha, Renée

* photos by me

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About reneeriley

Our blog was begun as a way to share our experiences in China. From August 2010 to July 2011, my husband, Barry Kristel, and I were at our University of Hawaii Maui College sister school, Zhejiang Agriculture and Forestry University in Lin'an, China, a city considered rural because it has only 500,000 people! We had a wonderful time. Then in February 2012, we returned to teach this time at our other sister school, Shanghai Normal University, in a city of over 21 million people. We've made many discoveries. Did you know that now Chinese girls, at least the ones who go to university, for the most part feel they are luckier than the Chinese boys? Did you know that Shanghai saved over 20,000 European Jews during WWII? Do you know how Chinese university students would deal with problems that come up in Dear Abby letters? What's it like to be on the Great Wall of China? Do you know how many Chinese girls had their feet bound and why? And we have recipes from many of the places we've visited. Among others, you can find instructions on how to fry cicadas from one of my ZAFU students and how to make chocolate-Kahlua waffles from my brother Mike in Gainesville. You can also look back to our earliest entry to see what we experienced in Oaxaca, Mexico, in 2006 during the mainly peaceful six months of protest until the Mexican government sent in the troops. Between our stays in China, Barry and I have been on the Mainland U.S. visiting family, friends and Servas hosts as we traveled home to Maui. We share those experiences too. Welcome to our blog! Aloha and Zài Jiàn, Renée and Barry

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