Historic lava rock wall near Cromwell's beach likely coming down

Historic lava rock wall near Cromwell's beach likely coming down

KAHALA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some say it's just too dangerous. Now the face of a historic south shore beach could be changing.

The foundation that owns Doris Duke's Diamondhead estate is working to get permits that would allow them to dismantle the lava rock breakwater near Cromwell's Beach.

Executive director Deborah Pope said outside a public meeting Thursday night that if the estate can get the permits this breakwater is

coming down.

It's a decision that's got a lot of neighbors talking.

"I was pretty upset," said Brett Mandich.

"It belongs here.  It's a part of history," said Colleen Kelly.

Kelly grew up in the neighborhood.  Her grandparents built their home about the same time construction began on Shangri La.

"We have photographs of Doris Duke mansion being put together," said Kelly.

Like many people Kelly believes the lava rock breakwater that created the harbor basin near Cromwell's Beach is a landmark that should

stay put.

Pope says she's been contemplating drastic changes since the estate was sued for a second time after someone nearly died on the property.

In 2011 a young man broke his neck jumping off the wall.  The teen was paralyzed.

"We have undertaken a long series of steps including consulting with the lifeguards association, putting in an entire campaign of warning

signs in place, security guards at the shoreline last year we errected a fence and all for not we're still having people getting injured," said Pope.

The foundation wants to restore a more natural looking shoreline.  Pope says the intent is not to cut off access to the ocean.

Pope said the permitting process will not be a quick one and will likely take years.

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