When people talk about luxury homes in West Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago is usually one of the first topics to come up. The large estate is the epitome of luxury living. However, most people don’t know the true extent of what the home has to offer. Find out about all the features of the new winter White House.
The History of Mar-a-Lago
In 1927, heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post built a 128-room mansion known as Mar-a-Lago. Located in West Palm Beach, the mansion was an ocean-front property that was an impressive undertaking. By the time that Post’s mansion was finally standing, she was one of the richest women in the world. The $7 million home was like no other.
Built between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal, the mansion offers incredible water-front views on two sides. With the skill of architects Marion Sims Wyeth and Joseph Urban, the mansion featured some unique architectural elements. Although Wyeth also designed the Governor’s Tallahassee mansion, the two structures are nothing alike.
Becoming the Winter White House
Long before Trump became president, Mar-a-Lago was a winter White House. At least, that’s what Post intended it to be. In her will, Post gave the property to the US government. Upon her death in 1973, the government took possession of the estate.
With 20 acres to maintain and the sheer size of the mansion, Mar-a-Lago was too much for the US government to maintain. Costing about $1 million a year to maintain, the property was a lot to take on. After realizing that it would be too costly for the government, President Jimmy Carter returned the estate to Post’s heirs in 1981.
In 1985, Trump bought the estate from Post’s heirs for $5 million. Ten years later, he converted the mansion into a private club. After winning the election, he started referring to the club as his winter White House.
Key Features of Mar-a-Lago
The home is done in a similar style to other West Palm Beach mansions. With a stucco and red tile roof, the mansion has some of the same qualities of other Palm Beach mansions. After World War 1, architect Addison Mizner made this style popular. It is a somewhat Mediterranean style that differs greatly from the rest of Florida architecture. If you want to find similar architecture, then you might have a hard time spotting it outside of West Palm Beach. Mar-a-Lago is a prime example of the local style.
The interior features of the estate are worth noting. In the mansion, there are 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms. One of the rooms features a 29 foot-long pietra dura marble top table. With 12 fireplaces and three bomb shelters, the property has it all. Inside the mansion, you can find an abundance of gold leaf, wrought iron, and carved wood doors. When Post originally built the home, there was no expense spared. Everything in the home was unique and fanciful.
On the grounds of the estate, there are some other impressive features. There are five clay tennis courts and a pool that overlooks the ocean. If you would rather stay indoors, then you can overlook the grounds from a large 75-foot tall tower.
Although Mar-a-Lago achieved landmark status before Trump purchased it, Trump still was able to make some extreme changes to the property. For example, he built a 20,000 square-foot ballroom that features $7 million worth of gold leaf work. On a coat of arms that Trump inherited with the house, he changed the word “Integritas” for “Trump.” Additionally, he spent about $100,000 on fitting the property with four gold sinks.
Although seemingly minor, a large flag on the property was a change of which locals did not agree. Trump installed a monstrous flagpole with an American flag that was 80 feet tall. However, the height was higher than the 42 foot maximum in the area. After the violation, the county made Trump get a smaller pole. It was still over the maximum, so the county also made him donate money to a veteran’s charity.
How it Compares to Local Architecture
Mar-a-Lago is certainly one-of-a-kind. For one, it is unique in its size. Finding a mansion this size on a beach-front property is difficult to do. When you compare it to some of the other luxury mansions in the area, the estate dwarfs most of them.
Although the style of the mansion is somewhat similar to local style, even that has a few key difference. Both the original owner and Trump wanted to make the home more extravagant. With millions of dollars worth of gold leaf, the home is certainly extravagant. Likewise, it features more intricate details than most of the other local estates.
While Mar-a-Lago is worth millions, it’s certainly not for everyone. The unique style of the home blends several architectural styles. Its sheer size alone is enough to put some people off. However, it is an impressive estate that deserves some attention.