Florida White House

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For the compound used by Harry Truman in Key West see: Harry S. Truman Little White House

The Florida White House (or Winter White House) was an informal name for a compound in Key Biscayne, Florida used by U.S. President Richard Nixon.

History[edit]

Nixon purchased the first of his three waterfront homes, 500 Bay Lane, during 1969 from his former Senate colleague George Smathers of Florida. Nixon visited it at least 50 times while in office as President from 1969 to 1974.

Nixon's compound was close to the home of Charles "Bebe" Rebozo who resided at 490 Bay Lane and of industrialist Robert Abplanalp (inventor of the modern aerosol spray can valve). Bebe Rebozo, president/owner of the Key Biscayne Bank, was indicted for money-laundering a $100,000 donation from Howard Hughes to the Nixon election campaign.

According to an exposé by Don Fulsom, Nixon and Rebozo got bargain real estate prices from Donald Berg, a Mafia-associated Rebozo business partner. The Secret Service eventually advised Nixon to stop associating with Berg. The lender for one of Nixon's properties was Arthur Desser, who consorted with both Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa and mobster Meyer Lansky. Nixon and Rebozo were friends of James Crosby, the chairman of a company repeatedly associated with major mobsters, and Rebozo's Key Biscayne Bank was a suspected pipeline for Mafia money from Crosby's casino in The Bahamas. By the 1960s, FBI agents monitoring the Mafia had identified Rebozo as a "non-member associate of organized crime figures."

President John F. Kennedy and Nixon met for the first time after the 1960 presidential election in an oceanfront villa at the old Key Biscayne Hotel. As the Watergate scandal developed, Nixon spent more time in seclusion there.

The United States Department of Defense spent $400,000 constructing a helicopter landing pad in Biscayne Bay adjacent to the Nixon compound. When Nixon sold his property, including the helicopter pad, there were public accusations that he enriched himself at taxpayer expense.

Scarface, the 1983 gangster movie starring Al Pacino, was filmed there.[1]

The original building was razed during July 2004 by owner Edgardo Defortuna, president of Fortune International Realty.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tim Reid (July 28, 2009). "$20m holiday home at Blue Heron Farm suits Barack Obama to a tee". London: Times Online. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 

External links[edit]