MarALago:Post to Trump

Coming in Season 2018!

Mar-a-Lago, a place where dreams come true:
From Post to Trump.

MarALago 1928

What do President Trump, Post Cereal, actress Dina Merrill and the Hutton family have in common? All of them have a direct connection to the magnificent Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. Since its current owner, Donald Trump, became the 45th President of the United States, Mar-a-Lago has become an international household name. In his inimitable way, Richard René Silvin will take the audience back in time, and explore the twists and turns in the history of this unique property.

Silvin describes the mansion’s construction that started in 1924 at the height of Florida’s construction boom. It was completed in 1927 when the real estate and banking bubbles had already burst. The fortune that paid for the construction of Mar-a-Lago came from the Post Cereal empire of C.W. Post, which was inherited by his daughter Marjorie Merriweather Post. Mrs. Post was not a big fan of the Mediterranean Revival style which Addison Mizner had created in Palm Beach; instead, she wanted something that would be a unique fantasy land. To this end, she hired Marion Simms Wyeth and Joseph Urban to create a different kind of home, one with a whimsical, theatre-inspired theme.

During the 1920s Mrs. Post was married to E.F. Hutton, uncle to the infamous Barbara Hutton. Their daughter, Dina Merrill, grew up to be a glamorous Hollywood star, moving away from the mansion in which she grew up. The presentation includes stories about these powerful women, their marriages, careers, and famous friends. Using numerous classic pictures and videos, Silvin will bring to life the lavish entertainment style Mrs. Post enjoyed at her favorite home for 45 years, until her death in 1973.

In the hope of turning the estate into a Winter Whitehouse for future Presidents and dignitaries, her will bequeathed the house to the United States Government. Unfortunately, it was deemed too expensive to maintain, so the mansion was given back to the Post Foundation. Initially slated for demolition, Mar-A-Lago fortunately gained landmark status in 1980, at the beginning of landmarking in Palm Beach.

IMG_2416 René in the front hall of Mar-A-Lago

The lecture continues to detail how Donald Trump embarked on a series of fascinating negotiations, which culminated in his buying the estate. During the late 80s and early 90s, the property went through a period where several options for its future were explored. Many of these creative choices would have destroyed Mar-a-Lago’s special character. Since then a beach club and ballroom have been added, which stretches from the Atlantic Ocean (Mar) to Lake Worth (Lago). Mar-a-Lago’s only alteration since becoming the President’s home, is the addition of a helicopter pad to accommodate the presidential helicopter, Marine One.

Ironically, Mrs. Post’s dream of creating a Winter Whitehouse has come to fruition, most likely assuring that it will continue to be appreciated for another century.

This is a historical lecture, not a political one.

IMG_5407 Mar-a-Lago living room

Where to see this lecture during season 2017/2018:

Thursday December 8, 2017:
“Mar-a-Lago, a place where dreams come true. From Post to Trump” at the Lifelong Learning Society of FAU Boca Raton
777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: 561-297-3171
Lecture starts at 3:30 PM


Tuesday February 6, 2018
“Mar-a-Lago, a place where dreams come true. From Post to Trump.”
Lifelong Learning Society of FAU Jupiter
5353 Parkside Drive, Jupiter, FL 33458
Lecture starts at 11:15 AM


Wednesday March 14, 2017:
“Mar-a-Lago, a place where dreams come true. From Post to Trump” at the Boca Raton Resort and Club
501 East Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432
Phone: 561-447-3000
Lecture starts at 5 PM