Note: Donald Trump became the owner of the Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach on Dec. 27, 1985. This is a report on his closing the sale published in the Miami Herald.
Flamboyant millionaire Donald Trump officially became the new owner of the legendary Mar-a-Lago Friday when he closed the sale on the Palm Beach estate of the late Marjorie Merriweather Post.
Trump, developer of the 68-story Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and owner of the New Jersey Generals football team, signed a contract in October to purchase the 118- room mansion.
The closing on Friday ended the Marjorie Merriweather Post Foundation's efforts to sell Mar-a-Lago. The mansion has been the subject of three failed sales in three years. The Marriott hotel chain, two friends of country singer Tammy Wynette and a Houston land developer all had negotiated to buy the mansion.
"Things went smoothly on the closing, " foundation attorney Doyle Rogers said Saturday. "I think they (foundation officials) were delighted to complete the sale."
Rogers declined to say how much Trump paid, but speculation earlier this year put the price between $10 million and $15 million. The sale of Mar-a-Lago is expected to rank among the largest private home sales in American history.
In addition to buying Mar-a-Lago, Trump also closed on an oceanside property owned by Jack C. Massey, Rogers said.
Trump could not be reached for comment.
The pink-and-brown mansion, often considered a monument to Roaring '20s ostentation, stretches from Lake Worth to the Atlantic Ocean and contains 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, three bomb shelters, a theater, a ballroom and a nine-hole golf course.
Mar-a-Lago is an eclectic mix of Italian, Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese architectural sytles. Post, heiress to the cereal fortune, entertained ambassadors and dignitaries at the mansion. For nearly 30 years, she and her several husbands, including E.F. Hutton, were Palm Beach's social forces.
After Post died in 1973, her family willed Mar-a-Lago to the U.S. Department of the Interior as a retreat for presidents and heads of state. Seven years later, the federal government returned Mar-a-Lago to the Post Foundation because of the $1 million yearly maintenance bill.