Mar-a-Lago is one of the most lavish of the mansions built in Florida in the early 20th century when the State was a wintering place for the country's wealthiest and most prominent families. Architecturally, it followed the contemporary vogue for the Spanish Revival, a style particularly suited to the climate and history of the area.
Henry M. Flagler, the man almost solely responsible for developing the resort economy of the State, introduced the Spanish Revival to Florida. In 1884, he sent the fledgling architects, John Carrere and Thomas Hastings, to Spain for two years to gather impressions and ideas before beginning the design of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine.
Flagler's commission launched an important architectural firm and established a style that was to dominate Florida resort architecture. Palm Beach was the most exclusive of the Florida resort communities in the early 20th century. Addison Mizner made the Spanish Revival style de rigueur for palatial building there.
For their wealthy clients, he and Marion Sims Wyeth designed numerous Mediterranean villas with patios to take advantage of the winter sun and spacious rooms for lavish entertaining. Mar-a-Lago is one of the grandest of these mansions and is the only one still resided in by the original owner.
All of its elaborate decoration and fine furnishings remain intact. It is still surrounded by its landscaped grounds including a golf course on the shores of Lake Worth and a bathing beach on the Atlantic Ocean.
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