Demolition Planned For John Wayne’s Former Waterfront Home

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — They’re razing the Duke’s waterfront house.

The 7,105-square-foot, single-story French Chateau-style residence is where John Wayne had a commanding view of Newport Bay and the private dock where he parked his yacht Wild Goose, a converted minesweeper.

Tour boats used to come by hoping to get a glimpse of the “Duke,” who would reportedly wave when he was outside.

Wayne died of cancer in 1979.

Robert and Beverly Cohen, owners of Wayne’s former home, filed construction plans two months ago that call for demolition of the 51-year-old residence to build a 12,437-square-foot estate, city building director Jay Elbetter said Monday.

The proposed two-story estate will have four bedrooms, five bathrooms and three-car garage. Blueprints show there will also be a 3-foot-high memorial to John Wayne in a side yard.

“He will always be in our hearts,” said homeowner Barbara Cohen

The Cohens hope to sell the bricks from the old structure to benefit a cancer charity.

The Cohens own the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Elbetter didn’t know the construction timetable.

Wayne purchased the Bay Shore Drive home in 1963. Burton G. Gettingen purchased it from the Wayne estate in 1980 for $5.5 million and it remained empty until the Cohens purchased it for $6.5 million in 1988.


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