5 Things you Should Know About Duke Kahanamoku’s Home

The surf legend’s oceanfront estate is for sale.


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Photos: Courtesy of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties

 

If surf legend and Olympic-gold-medal swimmer Duke Kahanamoku were still alive, he would now be 125 years old. But age is only a number, as you can see in this estate now for sale in Royal Circle. So, here are five things you should know about Kahanamoku’s home: 

 

1. You get a part of Duke with the home.

His handprints are fixed in stone in the yard, and a tree given to Kahanamoku by the former Emperor of Japan still stands in the lower ocean-side garden.

 

 

2. The area is historic, too.

Originally built in 1937, the house is part of the neighborhood enclave of Royal Circle, once a fishing village during the era of King Kamehameha the Great. It is nestled between Black Point and Kāhala, and includes deeded access to the ocean with breathtaking views of Koko Head, including sunrises and moonrises over the Pacific Ocean.

 

 

3. Its current owner has a degree in architecture, so the renovations are top notch.

In 1999, Gordon Thompson, executive vice president and global creative director of NIKE Inc. was on a six-week sabbatical, riding waves in Hawai‘i with the goal of purchasing a home in the Islands, when he found this surf-history landmark. With a degree in architecture, Thompson respectfully renovated the house while keeping the original foundation intact. To take advantage of the views, Thompson lifted the structure, creating a taller first floor and adding glass windows and doors to the entire oceanfront façade. The front yard was extended with a retaining wall of indigenous lava stone to make room for an infinity pool that looks like it blends into the ocean.

 

 

4. The original flooring is still a part of the home.

The original flooring of heavily varnished fir was so beautiful, the new home features more of this rich dark wood throughout. Thompson also restored the fir staircase and handrail.

 

5. You can shower under the stars.

The two-story home features open-air showers, one on the side of the house along a trail that leads to the beach, and another just off the master bedroom.

 

The 3,935-square-foot home has four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, and is located at 114 Royal Circle. Click here for more details.

 

Money talk: $8,875,000 fee simple
Contact: Beth Chang, Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, 478-7800, beth@bethchang.com

 

Got a suggestion for our real estate blog? Know of a fabulous open house? Fascinating story? We want to know. Shoot us an email at realestate@honolulumagazine.com

 

READ MORE STORIES BY MELISSA CHANG

 

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