Whitehall, is one of the famous homes and landmarks in Palm Beach. Built in 1902, Henry M Flagler, an American Industrialist, gifted the grand 100,000 square foot estate to his wife Mary as a wedding gift. The two used the home as a winter retreat from 1902 until Flagler’s death in 1913, establishing Palm Beach during the Gilded Age.
John Carrere and Thomas Hastings were commissioned by Flagler to design and build the mansion. The duo were the architects for other landmarks during the Gilded Age such as the New York Public Library and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
The façade of Whitehall has a red tile barrel roof and massive white marble columns with a central courtyard built around the home. The home consists of two floors, an attic, and a basement which is rare for homes built in Florida.
In 1917, Whitehall was left to the couple’s niece, who sold the mansion to a group of investors who added an eleven-story tower to the west side of the building, transforming the mansion into a hotel that was operated from 1925 to 1959, that Walt Disney and other famous people and politicians stayed at when visiting Palm Beach. The structure was saved and restored back to its beauty by Flagler’s granddaughter in 1959 in fear that the mansion would be razed. She then developed a nonprofit corporation and turned the mansion into the museum that we now of today.
Today, the former hotel and home to Henry Flagler, features Flagler’s collection of antiques and art as well as information about the 1920’s and 1930’s, the most interesting time in American History. The 72 room estate features ornate design, architecture, furnishings and art collections. Also, on display is the rail car that Flagler traveled in and has been restored to its original beauty and is available to walk through.
Each year, nearly 100,000 people from around the world visit the museum. Tickets are required for admission and can be purchase online or at the museum. Guided tours, audio tours, and printed self-guides are available and included in the admission ticket.
The hours are:
Monday: The museum is closed
Tuesday through Saturday: 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm
The famous icon is located at 1 Whitehall Way in Palm Beach, Florida, 33480.