see + do
Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida
Concierge.com's insider take:
Railroad magnate Henry Flagler spent many of his millions building Whitehall mansion as a wedding gift to his third wife, Mary Lily Kenan (40 years his junior, natch). The circa-1902 mansion was an extraordinary achievement: Fully electrified from the first day, it also had the only private telephone in Florida, inside Flagler's master bathroom (one of an astonishing 28 bathrooms in the house). The docents are a notch above most tour guidesknowledgeable, enthusiastic, and in many cases wealthy enough to have helped sponsor the mansion's renovations in 2002. They'll fill you in on the house's secrets: The seemingly wood and leather trompe l'oeil ceilings are actually made of plaster to better withstand the Florida humidity. But don't expect them to dish on Flagler's colorful personal life, like the fact that Florida passed a new divorce law so that seventysomething Flagler could wed Mary while wife No. 2 remained in an insane asylum. Highlights include the grand Marble Hall with its enormous green Russian marble table and the Music Room's 1,249-pipe organ. Be sure to visit the pavilion that houses car No. 91, Flagler's personal railroad wagon, which featured a private shower. Even Rockefeller didn't have one of those in his.
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