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Mar-A-Lago, Where Dreams Come True:
From Marjorie Merriweather Post to President Trump
René Silvin

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: 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 three-year construction during turbulent economic times in the 1920s, as Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post’s vast fortune paid for the unprecedented eight million dollar construction. 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. 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. Following her death, the mansion went through several unusual ownerships, as each subsequent group deemed it too expensive to maintain. At some point slated for demolition, Mar-A-Lago fortunately gained landmark status in 1980, at the beginning of landmarking in Palm Beach. The lecture continues to detail how Donald Trump embarked on a series of fascinating negotiations, which culminated in his buying the estate. Ironically, Mrs. Post’s dream of creating a "Winter White House" has come to fruition, most likely assuring that Mar-A-Lago will continue to be appreciated for another century. This lecture will not touch on any politics or cover political issues, past or present.

BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Born in New York, René Silvin grew up in Swiss boarding schools. After earning his bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 1970 and two MBAs from Cornell University in 1972, he spent 25 years in the investor-owned hospital industry. Since retiring, René has published five books, including a memoir about his friendship with the late Duchess of Windsor, as well as a history of Palm Beach, Florida seen through the eyes of the famous society architect, Addison Mizner.  His latest book, Normandie: The Tragic Story of the Most Majestic Ocean Liner, is a historical novel that brings to life the magnificent flagship of the French line, Normandie, which met its tragic end during WWII. He continues to add lecture topics, through offering well-researched, glamorous stories with historical significance, infused with personal experiences, including a history of transatlantic ocean liner travel, and the history of Mar-a-Lago. Silvin serves as the vice-chairman on the Palm Beach Landmarks Preservation Commission.

FPL12073
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Date: Thursday, December 7, 2017
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: Member - $30 per event
$75 for any combination of three events, members only
$120 for any combination of eight events, members only

Non-member - $35
Cash will no longer be accepted as payment for lectures.

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