What you need to know about Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate


Mar-a-lago1937The world’s media are descending on Mar-a-Lago tonight for Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday bash. Many will have no idea about the history of the place.

Here’s more from a 2000 Palm Beach Post Post Time” column:

Q: Why is the Palm Beach mansion called Mar-a-Lago?

A: Mar a lago is Spanish for “sea to lake.” The mansion sits on 17 acres sprawling across the island from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway.

Donald Trump's
Mar-a-lago in 1937 (upper left) and 2009 (Post archives)

Marjorie Merriweather Post inherited $11 million from her father, Charles William Post, of breakfast cereal fame. She spent $2.5 million — in 1920s dollars — to build her palace. Completed in 1927, Mar-a-Lago featured 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms with gold fixtures, three bomb shelters, an 1,800-square-foot living room (with gold leaf on its 42-foot ceilings), a 1,500-square-foot dining room, a theater, a 75-foot tower, 36,000 antique Spanish tiles and a nine-hole golf course.

In 1964, Post offered Mar-a-Lago to the state, which balked at the $250,000 overhead. When she died in 1973, she willed it to the federal government as a winter White House; the feds gave it back seven years later.

In 1985, millionaire and sometime presidential candidate Donald Trump paid $15 million for the mansion and its furnishings. Trump restored the home and built a putting green, tennis courts and croquet court, then added a spa, salon and health club. Bemoaning the same massive upkeep that bedeviled Marjorie Merriweather Post, Trump in 1995 converted the home into a private club.

Palm Beach Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg (on Twitter @eliotkpbp) will report and tweet live from Tuesday’s Donald Trump event at Mar-a-lago. Immediate news and photos can be seen atwww.palmbeachpost.com and www.MyPalmBeachPost.com.

Time warp: West Palm Beach station accidentally airs 2012 Mitt Romney ad

There’s nothing wrong with your TV set. That was, in fact, an ad from Mitt Romney‘s 2012 campaign that aired this morning during the Today show on WPTV Channel 5, the station confirmed.

Romney: tops GOP field
Mitt Romney

The 30-second spot is from mid-December 2011, when Newt Gingrich was topping national Republican polls and Romney let a few of his neatly coiffed hairs get out of place as he talked tough on fiscal policy.

“We have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in…It is a moral responsibility to believe in fiscal responsibility. We do, and I do,” Romney says in the ad.

A station official wasn’t immediately available to explain how the old ad mistakenly aired today.

Controversial child custody standard softened by Senate in bid to woo House

Senate seeks to soften child custody provisions in its alimony bill.
Senate seeks to soften child custody provisions in its alimony bill.

A controversial bill overhauling alimony in Florida was retooled Tuesday by a key senator who changed provisions aimed at promoting equal child custody between divorcing parents.

Facing stiff House opposition, Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, said he was softening a standard that directed courts to assume that it is in the best interest of a child to have equal time-sharing between parents.

Lee changed what had been a legal presumption in the bill (CS/SB 668) that 50-50 custody was the way to go to a “premise,” a looser standard that he said would still provide some guidance to judges.

Lee said his wife is a judge who shares with him stories of divorces where animosity brims “like a Jerry Springer show.” Current custody and alimony laws, he said, “have been designed by people who make millions of dollars in this system — not the people who are paying these fees.”

Opposing the legislation were a host of divorced women and organizations such as the National Organization for Women and the Florida League of Women Voters, who insist the proposed changes will hurt women and children.

Some warned that it could reopen already settled divorce cases, dragging people back into court.

Although bill sponsor, Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said the measure cannot be applied retroactively, she opposed an amendment by Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, that would have limited the proposal to marriages that take place after Oct. 1.

The legislation cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday and is ready for a full Senate vote. But it wasn’t immediately clear if  Lee’s changes would be accepted by the House, whose alimony legislation (HB 455) steers clear of child custody issues.

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Super Tuesday party won’t include Scott

Gov. Rick Scott doesn't plan to be at Mar-A-Lago with Donald Trump
Gov. Rick Scott doesn’t plan to be at Mar-A-Lago with Donald Trump

Donald Trump is slated to spend Super Tuesday night at his Mar-A-Lago club on Palm Beach — but don’t expect his fan, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, to be there.

Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said the Republican governor has no plans to attend Trump’s presumed victory celebration. Speculation continues to sizzle that Scott could endorse Trump in advance of Florida’s March 15 winner-take-all primary.

Scott’s bond with Trump surfaced in January when he wrote an Op-Ed for USA Today, praising the part-time Palm Beacher for “capturing the frustration of many Americans.” Last week, the Washington Post threw Scott in with a handful of potential running mates for the Republican presidential frontrunner.