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Mar-a-Lago National Historic Landmark
Mar-a-Lago, Marjorie Merriweather Post's estate on Palm Beach Island.
Mar-a-Lago is located in Florida
Mar-a-Lago is located in the US
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 square feet (10,000 m2)[1]
Built 1924–27
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 of US presidents,[4] the estate is currently owned by The Trump Organization.

The 126-room, 110,000-square-foot (10,219 m²)[5] house is also the headquarters of the Mar-a-Lago Club. According to financial disclosure forms filed by the estate's owner, Donald Trump, the Mar-a-Lago Club realized $29.7 million in gross revenues in the period June 2015 to May 2016.[6]


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]


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 $10 million for the estate in 1985.[5] After acquiring the property, Trump had the property renovated, with 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, a 29-foot (8.8 m)-long 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 AIA's Florida Chapter ranked Mar-a-Lago fifth on its list of Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.[14]


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).[15] 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.[16] 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.[17]

Aviation litigation[edit]

Trump has repeatedly filed lawsuits against the Palm Beach County over aircraft going to and from Palm Beach International Airport (KPBI) allegedly affecting Mar-a-Lago.[18]

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.[18] In July 2010, Trump filed another lawsuit aiming to stop the airport from constructing a second commercial runway.[19] That suit was dismissed.[18]

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."[18] Trump claims that officials pressured the FAA to direct air traffic to PBIA over Mar-a-Lago in a "deliberate and malicious" act.[20]

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.[18] Legal maneuvering is likely to allow the lawsuit to continue past the 2016 presidential election, in which Trump is the Republican presidential nominee.[18]


  1. ^ "Mar-A-Lago, the TRUMP Winter White House". The Huffington Post. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  2. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  3. ^ a b Mar-A-Lago at National Historic Landmarks Program
  4. ^ Draper, Robert (2016-05-18). "Mr. Trump's Wild Ride". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-05-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Trump Honored for Preservation of Mar-a-Lago". March 2003. 
  6. ^ "Donald Trump Personal Financial Disclosure Form 2015" (PDF). 
  7. ^
  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, Dec. 17, 2005
  11. ^ Time, August 1, 1980
  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. PDF (942 KB)
  13. ^ "AssetDetail". Retrieved 2016-04-23. 
  14. ^ "Current Standings". 2015 People's Choice Award (Florida Architecture). Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  15. ^ [dead link]"Page not found |". Retrieved 2016-04-23. 
  16. ^ "City to Trump: You're fined!". CNN. Archived from the original on 21 January 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2007. 
  17. ^ "Trump's war with Palm Beach". POLITICO. Retrieved 10 March 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f Andy Reid, Trump's airport lawsuit lingers as presidential bid heats up, South Florida Sun-Sentinel (December 11, 2015).
  19. ^ Adam Playford, Trump sues to prevent runway expansion, Palm Beach Post (July 20, 2010).
  20. ^ Matt Sedensky (January 13, 2015). "Trump sues for $100M, says air traffic targets him". USA Today. Retrieved February 23, 2015. 


  • Florida, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides, 2004, pg. 117
  • The Trumps, Gwenda Blair, 2000, pg. 364

External links[edit]