Mar-a-Lago’s journey to ‘Winter White House’

Thanks to Trump’s presidency, the storied Mar-a-Lago, long a fixture of Palm Beach society, is now the focus of international attention.

Merriweather Post left her Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago, to the U.S. government in her 1973 will in the hopes it would serve as a “Winter White House.” Though the property’s prohibitive maintenance cost meant the gift was not accepted, Post’s wish has been fulfilled nevertheless thanks to the election of Donald Trump, the property’s owner, as president.

There have been other local contenders for the Winter White House title. The 1920s-era beachfront 1-acre complex at 1095 North Ocean was once the winter residence for the Kennedy family. The home was sold for $7 million in 1995 to the Castle family, represented by Paulette Koch. Ned Monell of Sotheby’s International held the listing. And last June, Koch sold the erstwhile home of Elmer Bobst, lifelong friend and advisor to Richard Nixon, at 1055 North Ocean for $13 million. According to Koch, the home had an entire “Nixon Wing,” where he stayed during his visits.

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