Mar-a-Lago the Winter Whitehouse

Mar-A-Lago — the Florida estate of Marjorie Merriwether Post, designed by Joseph Urban. Image courtesy of federal HABS—Historic American Buildings Survey in Florida project.

Silicon Palms was incorporated in Florida on 9.9.99 and the first office was in Palm Beach County. Many times I have passed the gate of Mar a Lago but never entered, although I know it well by having lived nearby and enjoyed all the beaches and waterway surrounding this spectacular estate.

Living room of Mar-a-Lago, 1967

Mar-a-Lago (/ˌmɑːrəˈlɑːɡoʊ/) is a resort and national historic landmark in Palm Beach, Florida, built from 1924 to 1927 by cereal-company heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. The 126-room, 62,500-square-foot (5,810 m2) mansion since 1995 contains the Mar-a-Lago Club, a members-only club with guest rooms, a spa, and other hotel-style amenities. It is located in Palm Beach County on the Palm Beach barrier island, with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway to the west.

Living room of Mar-a-Lago, 1967

At the time of her death in 1973, Post bequeathed the property to the National Park Service, hoping it could be used for state visits or as a Winter White House, but because the costs of maintaining the property exceeded the funds provided by Post, and it was difficult to secure the facility (as it is located in the flight path of Palm Beach Airport), the property was returned to the Post Foundation by an Act of Congress in 1981.

President Trump (at the head of the table) and staffers monitor the missile strike on Syria from the SCIF within Mar-a-Lago

In 1985, Mar-a-Lago was purchased by Donald Trump for around $10 million. His family maintains private quarters in a separate, closed-off area of the house and grounds. Trump frequently visited there during his tenure as President of the United States, referring to it as the Winter White House and his “Southern White House“. After Trump became president in January 2017, Mar-a-Lago was used to host meetings for international leaders, including Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe and Chinese president Xi Jinping. In September 2019, Mar-a-Lago became the primary residence for Donald and Melania Trump, who previously held primary residence in New York City, in spite of a legal agreement Trump signed in the early 1990s that converted the estate from a private residence to a private club.

Mar-a-Lago in 2009

It is the second largest mansion in the state of Florida and the 22nd largest mansion in the United States. In 2018, Forbes estimated the value of the estate at around $160 million, having appreciated greatly throughout the past decades since Trump’s purchase due to several factors such as the extensive renovation, lavish features and furniture, the exclusivity of the location, as well as its historic meaning and significance.

Marine One – January 2021
President Donald J. Trump walks across the South Lawn as he departs the White House Thursday, Sept. 06, 2018, for his trip to Billings, Montana. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)..

Marine One is the call sign of any United States Marine Corps aircraft carrying the president of the United States. It usually denotes a helicopter operated by Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) “Nighthawks”, consisting of either the large Sikorsky VH-3D Sea King or the newer, smaller VH-60N “White Hawk”. Both helicopters are called “White Tops” because of their livery. Any Marine Corps aircraft carrying the vice president without the president, has the call sign Marine Two.

Mar-a-lago Photo credit: wallyg on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND



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