Mar-a-Lago

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Mar-a-Lago National Historic Landmark
MaralargoLoC.jpg
Mar-a-Lago, Marjorie Merriweather Post's estate on Palm Beach Island.
Mar-a-Lago is located in Florida
Mar-a-Lago
Mar-a-Lago is located in the US
Mar-a-Lago
Location 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, Florida, United States
Coordinates 26°40′40″N 80°02′10″W / 26.67778°N 80.03611°W / 26.67778; -80.03611Coordinates: 26°40′40″N 80°02′10″W / 26.67778°N 80.03611°W / 26.67778; -80.03611
Area 110,000 sq ft (10,000 m2)[1]
Built 1924–27
Architect
NRHP Reference # 80000961
Significant dates
Added to NRHP December 23, 1980[2]
Designated NHL December 23, 1980[3]

Mar-a-Lago (English pronunciation: /mɑɹ.ə.lɑ.goʊ/) is a landmark estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Built from 1924 to 1927 by Marjorie Merriweather Post and envisioned by her as a future winter retreat for American presidents;[4] the estate is currently owned by the President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump.

The 126-room, 110,000-square-foot (10,000 m2)[5] house contains the Mar-a-Lago Club, a members-only club with guest rooms, a spa, and other hotel-style amenities. The Trump family maintains private quarters in a separate, closed-off area of the house and grounds.[6]

Etymology[edit]

The name Mar-a-Lago is a Spanish word-for-word translation of "Sea-to-Lake."[7] "Mar-a-Lago", however, is not idiomatic Spanish, as dashes are rarely used in place names and the preposition "a" would normally be accompanied by an article.[8]

History[edit]

Living room of Mar-a-Lago, circa 1967
Entrance to Mar-a-Lago owner's suite, April 1967

Marjorie Merriweather Post built the house with her then-husband Edward F. Hutton. Post hired Marion Sims Wyeth to design it, and Joseph Urban to create interior design and exterior decorations.[9][10] Upon her death in 1973, Post willed the 17-acre (69,000 m2) estate to the U.S. Government as a retreat for presidents and visiting foreign dignitaries.[11] However, the mansion was not used for this purpose. The U.S. Government deeded it back to the Merriweather Post family. Mar-a-Lago was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1980.[3][12][13]

Mar-a-Lago has frequently hosted the International Red Cross Ball, an annual white tie, tails, and tiara ball. Founded by Post, it has a history of attracting wealthy socialites and ambassadors from across the world in support of the mission of the American Red Cross.

Donald Trump paid $7 million for the estate in December 1985.[14] After acquiring the property, Trump had the property renovated, with 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, a 29-foot-long (8.8 m) pietra dura marble top dining table, 12 fireplaces, and three bomb shelters. The club also has five clay tennis courts and a waterfront pool. Further additions have been made since then, including a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) ballroom.

In 1994, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley spent their honeymoon at Mar-a-Lago.

On April 18, 2012, the American Institute of Architects' Florida Chapter ranked Mar-a-Lago fifth on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.[15]

The Mar-a-lago Club[edit]

The primary business occupying the estate is the Mar-a-Lago Club, which operates as resort and hotel for dues-paying members, and rents out estate venues for private events. Membership at the Mar-a-lago Club requires a $100,000 initiation fee, plus $14,000 annual dues.[16] According to financial disclosure forms filed by Donald Trump, the Mar-a-Lago Club realized $29.7 million in gross revenues in the period June 2015 to May 2016.[17]

Lawsuits[edit]

Flag litigation[edit]

On October 3, 2006, Trump raised a 20-by-30-foot (6.1 by 9.1 m) American flag on an 80-foot (24 m) flagpole at Mar-a-Lago. Town zoning officials asked Trump to adhere to town zoning codes that limit flagpoles to a height of 42 feet (13 m).[18] This dispute led the town council of Palm Beach to charge Trump $1,250 for every day that the flag stayed up. Trump filed a lawsuit against the Town of Palm Beach. Trump eventually dropped his lawsuit over the flag, and in exchange the town waived its fines.[19] As part of a court-ordered mediation, Trump was allowed to file for a permit and keep a pole that was both 10 feet (3.0 m) shorter than the original pole and located on a different spot on his lawn. The agreement also required him to donate $100,000 to veterans’ charities, as well as resulted in a change to town ordinances allowing out-of-town enrollees in club membership.[20]

Discrimination[edit]

Trump filed a lawsuit against Palm Beach in 1997[21] for discrimination. Original charges of discrimination against the club for admitting black and jewish members were lessened to 'unfair treatment' compared to other local clubs.

Aviation litigation[edit]

Trump has repeatedly filed lawsuits against Palm Beach County over aircraft going to and from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) allegedly affecting Mar-a-Lago.[22]

Trump first filed such a lawsuit in 1995; that action was settled in 1996, with the county agreeing to collaborate with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and to change flight patterns so the noisiest jet aircraft flew over a wider area.[22] In July 2010, Trump filed another lawsuit aiming to stop the airport from constructing a second commercial runway.[23] That suit was dismissed.[22]

Trump filed a third suit against the county in January 2015, seeking $100 million in damages for "creating an unreasonable amount of noise, emissions and pollutants at Mar-a-Lago".[22] Trump claims that officials pressured the FAA to direct air traffic to PBI over Mar-a-Lago in a "deliberate and malicious" act.[24]

In November 2015, a Florida Circuit Court judge ruled against most of Trump's arguments, dismissing four of the six claims and allowing the others to proceed.[22] Legal maneuvering allowed the lawsuit to continue past the 2016 presidential election, in which Trump became President-Elect of the United States.[22]

References[edit]

  • Florida. DK Eyewitness Travel Guides. 2004. p. 117. 
  • Blair, Gwenda (2000). The Trumps. p. 364. 
  1. ^ "Mar-A-Lago, the Trump Winter White House". The Huffington Post. August 11, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ National Park Service (July 9, 2010). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ a b "Mar-A-Lago". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ Draper, Robert (May 18, 2016). "Mr. Trump's Wild Ride". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 18, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Trump Honored for Preservation of Mar-a-Lago". Miami Herald. March 2003. 
  6. ^ Sherman, Erik. "A Look Inside Donald Trump's Lavish, $200 Million 'Palace'". Fortune. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  7. ^ http://www.maralagoclub.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=296077&ssid=177999&vnf=1
  8. ^ Ortografía de la Lengua Española (PDF). 
  9. ^ Mar-a-Lago HABS No. FLA-195
  10. ^ "The History and Memories Behind Mar-a-Lago". Palm Beach Post. December 17, 2005. 
  11. ^ Time, August 1, 1980[full citation needed]
  12. ^ Cecil N. McKithan (August 31, 1981). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Mar-a-Lago" (PDF). National Park Service.  and Accompanying 4 photos, exterior, from 1967. (942 KB)
  13. ^ "AssetDetail". focus.nps.gov. Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Trump Fights Property Taxes". Associated Press. March 29, 1988. 
  15. ^ "Current Standings". 2015 People's Choice Award (Florida Architecture). Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  16. ^ Jordan, Mary. "Inside Trump's Palm Beach castle and his 30-year fight to win over the locals". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Donald Trump Personal Financial Disclosure Form 2015" (PDF). 
  18. ^ [dead link]"Page not found | www.palmbeachpost.com". Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
  19. ^ "City to Trump: You're Fined!". CNN. Archived from the original on January 21, 2007. Retrieved January 19, 2007. 
  20. ^ "Trump's war with Palm Beach". POLITICO. Retrieved March 10, 2016. 
  21. ^ Journal, Jacqueline Bueno Staff Reporter of The Wall Street (1997-04-30). "Trump's Palm Beach Club Roils the Old Social Order". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-11-30. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f Reid, Andy (December 11, 2015). "Trump's Airport Lawsuit Lingers as Presidential Bid Heats Up". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. 
  23. ^ Playford, Adam (July 20, 2010). "Trump Sues to Prevent Runway Expansion". Palm Beach Post. 
  24. ^ Sedensky, Matt (January 13, 2015). "Trump Sues for $100M, Says Air Traffic Targets Him". USA Today. Retrieved February 23, 2015. 

External links[edit]