Election 2016: Inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago

With the countdown to election day (Nov. 8) at just 6 days away, we take a look inside Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach.

photo donald trump maralago
Exterior of Trump’s bedroom suite. Photos of the interior and exterior of Donald Trump’s Palm Beach Island home “Mar-A-Lago.” This is the first time The Palm Beach Post has been given photo access to Mar-A-Lago since Trump took over. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

Mar-a-Lago was originally built by Marjorie Merriweather Post and opened for the 1927 winter season with 58 bedrooms and 33 bathrooms. When Post died, Mar-a-Lago was willed to the U.S. government. However, Mar-a-Lago’s high maintenance costs prompted the government to decline.

The estate was empty until Trump purchased it in 1985 for $10 million.

Mar-a-Lago now serves as an exclusive club with a $100,000 initiation fee and part-time residence for Trump.

The old ballroom inside Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)
The old ballroom inside Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

More on Mar-a-Lago:

A peek inside Donald Trump’s historic Palm Beach palace

Photo gallery: Inside Mar-a-Lago

 

 

Trump’s Mar-A-Lago paintings back in news after presidential debate

image1

One of the weirder sideshows of the presidential season is all the attention paid to portraits of Donald Trump.

At Wednesday night’s debate, Trump attacked Hillary Clinton over donations accepted by her family’s Clinton Foundation. She sparred back, mentioning his use of money by the Trump Foundation:

“I’d be happy to compare what (the Clinton Foundation does) with the Trump Foundation, which took money from other people and bought a 6-foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that? It just was astonishing.”

Clinton was referring to a six-foot tall portrait of Trump by Palm Beach County artist Michael Israel. The Washington Post reported that Trump Foundation money was used by Trump to buy the portrait during an auction at his Palm Beach mansion-club, Mar-A-Lago.

As Post reporter Jennifer Sorentrue wrote in a story on the controversy:

The 2007 painting sold for $20,000. According to Israel and press reports, Trump’s wife, Melania, bid $10,000 for the piece, before the auctioneer pushed her to double that number. The Donald J. Trump Foundation cut the check for the artwork, raising questions about whether the foundation broke IRS rules by bidding on an item that might have benefited Trump directly.

The charity auction was for the local non-profit HomeSafe, which helps children with housing issues. Since that story broke, Israel painted another portrait of Trump to help HomeSafe raise money. With a minimum bid of $15,000, nobody bid on the portrait and the online auction was closed.

121205-acc-maralago-10o22

This isn’t the only story recently about a Trump painting. Reporters have been buzzing all election season about a Trump portrait hanging in the bar at Mar-A-Lago and the backstory of why Trump insisted that the hand on the portrait be repainted.

You can read the full story of that here:

Why did Trump insist artist repaint his hand on Mar-A-Lago portrait?

 

Why did Trump insist artist repaint his hand in Mar-A-Lago portrait?

121205-acc-maralago-10o22

It’s become practically a mystery story: The Case of The Donald’s Repainted Hand.

But the only person who knows the true story is the man who painted — and at Donald Trump‘s insistence, repainted — the Republican presidential candidate’s hand on his Mar-A-Lago portrait, the artist himself, Ralph Wolfe Cowan.

The West Palm Beach painter tells us the full story — and clears up what he says are discrepancies in the accounting of it — as well as talking about his long career painting romantic portraits of kings, movie stars and moguls, everybody from Elvis to Princess Grace to Michael Jackson.

It’s a story you must read:

THE LAST OF THE PORTRAIT PAINTERS: THE RALPH WOLFE COWAN STORY

Inside the life of Donald Trump: A look at Mar-A-Lago, Melania and Ivanka

photo donald trump
Donald and Melania Trump pose for a photo in front of their favorite spot at Mar a Lago. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post 2011)

An inside look at the life of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump:

Donald Trump and his opulent Mar-A-Lago estate

Melania Trump: What you don’t know about the potential First Lady

Why daughter Ivanka is the Trump you’re not expecting

Trump’s former butler reveals what he thinks of Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump: Celebrities with Trump at Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach

photo donald trump
Model Kelly Hyler grabs Donald Trump after he tossed her in the swimming pool at a party at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach. Hyler wanted to put him in the pool, but his bodyguards intervened, January 30, 1993. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

Through the years, many celebrities have appeared at Donald Trump’s Palm Beach palace, Mar-A-Lago, for parties and charity benefits.

Sometimes, they even pose for a picture with The Donald. Photographers for The Palm Beach Post and the Palm Beach Daily News have been there to snap the action over the years.

photo donald trump
Lionel Richie and Donald Trump.
photo donald trump
Alumns from NBC’s ‘The Voice’ with Donald Trump at Mar-A-Lago, second from left, are Will Champlin, Sisaundra Lewis and Matthew Schuler. (Photo by CAPEHART)

Here are more photos of Donald Trump through the years:

Donald Trump in Palm Beach

Related: Donald Trump – What is ‘the season’ in Palm Beach

Donald Trump: What is “the season” in Palm Beach?

030116 pbdn trump presser021
Donald Trump, with Gov. Chris Christie, at Mar-A-Lago on Super Tuesday. (Allen Eyestone/Palm Beach Post)

When Donald Trump mentioned his hiring of foreign workers at Mar-A-Lago in Thursday’s debate, viewers not familiar with Palm Beach might have been wondering:

What is “the season”? Aren’t there four of them?

Everywhere but South Florida, where there is only one season that counts. That’s the winter season, roughly October-November to late April, when snowbirds come down from Canada and the northern sections of the United States to thaw out and spend money down here.

Their dollars keeps our tourism-based industry afloat but also causes some consternation with crowded restaurants, more traffic on the roads, etc.

Post writer Barbara Marshall examined our love-hate relationship with snowbirds in “season.”

snowbird