Historic Home- Mar-A-Lago
Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida. The name Mar-A-Lago is Spanish for “Sea to Lake”. The main house is an adaptation of the Hispano-Moresque style, long popular among the villas of the Mediterranean. It is crescent-shaped with an upper and lower cloister along the concave side of the building that faces Lake Worth. A seventy-five foot tower tops the structure, affording a magnificent view in all directions for miles.
Mar-A-Lago was built by Marjorie Merriweather Post in 1924-1927. The architect was Marion Sims Wyeth, FAIA. The interior design and exterior decorations for the house were created by Joseph Urban, once the architect for the Emperor Franz Joseph and for the Khedive of Egypt, who was called in from Vienna for the more elaborate details. Urban was then sent to Vienna for eminent sculptor Professor Franz Barwig and his son who worked for nearly three years modeling and carving extraordinary sculptures.Upon her death in 1973 Marjorie Post willed the 17-acre estate to the U.S. Government as a retreat for Presidents and visiting foreign dignitaries. The mansion was not, however, used for this purpose. In 1980 it was declared a National Historic Landmark. On April 18, 2012, the AIA’s Florida Chapter ranked Mar-A-Lago fifth on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.
In 1985 Donald Trump paid $5 million for the estate. Trump holds 51% ownership and ex-wife Ivana Trump holds 49% ownership. The house itself is 62,000 sq ft.
Trump had the property renovated, with 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, a 29-foot -long pietra dura marble top dining table, 12 fireplaces, and three bomb shelters. The home also has five clay and one grass tennis court with a waterfront pool. Further additions have been made since then, including the recent construction of a 20,000-square-foot ballroom. In 1995 Trump made the Mar-A-Lago Club.
It is one of the most highly regarded private clubs in the world. In addition Mar-a-Lago is the perfect setting for special events, holiday celebrations, weddings and galas.
The Mar-a-Lago Estate was opened officially in January of 1927 after four years of construction. This hurricane resistant structure is anchored by concrete and steel to a coral reef, and the whole of the property comprises approximately twenty acres of perfectly landscaped lawns. Across the southeast lawn, a Chattahoochee stone path leads to a tunnel under South Ocean Boulevard which opens onto the Beach Club. The site on which Mar-a-Lago sits is now considered the most valuable parcel of land anywhere in Florida.
Three boatloads of Dorian stone were brought from Genoa, Italy for the construction of the exterior walls, arches and some of the interior. The stone was chosen for its quality of aging rapidly and for its adaptability to intricate carving. Upon close examination, tiny seashells and fossils can be seen in this distinctive stone of the 114 room ocean-to-lake villa.
One of the attractions of Mar-a-Lago is the predominant use of Old Spanish tiles throughout. Mrs. Post acquired approximately 36,000 tiles that had been collected by the late Mrs. Horace Havermeyer in the 1800’s.
Mar-A-Lago Club Suite
With the granting of easements to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Mar-a-Lago Club carries with it a built in constituency that ensures its stewardship into the future.
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