Florida's Grand Estates takes you to those celebrated mansions that transformed the Florida coast from an undesirable swampland to a retreat for the elite. American tycoon Henry Flagler began constructing his lavish Palm Beach estate in the late 19th century. Soon, other tycoons discovered the pleasures of this tropical paradise and began building castles of their own. Visit Flagler's 73-room manor called "the Taj Mahal of North America," and meet Marjorie Merriweather Post who built the extraordinary 118-room Mar-A-Lago. Other film highlights include rare footage of the Ca'd'Zan, home to circus mogul John Ringling. Florida's Grand Estates provides a colorful and engaging look at the back country which emerged as a sophisticated playground for the wealthy.
The shores of Florida were a remote swampland until oil magnate Henry Flagler began building his exclusive Palm Beach enclave in the late 19th century. As more American tycoons discovered the sunshine and balmy breezes of this tropical paradise, Florida soon boasted a fantasyland of winter castles for the elite.
Go inside the posh estates created for winter-weary socialites. Attend a lavish costume ball at Flagler's 73 room Whitehall, called "the Taj Mahal of North America." Meet the remarkable Marjorie Merriweather Post, who doubled her father's business empire and built the magnificent, 118 room Mar-A-Lago (later purchased by Donald Trump) to celebrate it. And see rare home movies of the Venetian fantasy Ca' d' Zan, home to circus maven John Ringling.
It's a fascinating look at the undeveloped backcountry that became an elegant playground for the rich and famous.