The Tampa home of prominent lawyer Richard Mulholland is now for sale


Local lawyer Richard Mulholland was once described by the Tampa Bay Times as the "king of legal advertising." His friends referred to him as the original John Morgan, mostly because everyone knew him from billboards, and his TV ads were in constant rotation in the Bay area for decades.

The local litigation legend died in 2016, and now his former home alongside Lake Ellen is for sale.

Located at 3165 Lake Ellen Dr., the 3,732-square-foot house sits on a 1-acre lot that was once the famous Lake Ellen Beach, a popular local attraction dating back to the early 1930s.

The 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home was built in 1990 by Tampa civic leader L. Garry Smith, and was then sold to Mulholland in 1997. Mulholland completely renovated the home with the help of Robert Holsopple (known for restoring Ybor's Arturo Fuente cigar factory and more recently the Perfecto Garcia cigar factory), and as you can see, it's almost entirely covered in luxury finishes, especially 24k gold-plated fixtures.

"Richard used to have this saying," said listing agent Ree Waltzer to Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. "'You can’t have too much gold,' so there’s gold all over the house." Waltzer says just about every door knob and handle is made with 24k gold. Even gold leaf was used to paint the main staircase.

The gated property also features oaks floors, crystal chandeliers, expansive walnut paneling with a matching wet bar, an infrared security system, and a 15 kilowatt full-house generator powered by a 2,000-gallon LP tank, which is enough to keep the electricity running for 6 weeks if the power goes out. However, the best feature is arguably the 175-foot nature boardwalk that borders a nearby preserve and leads to a 10,000 lb. power boat lift and a jet ski lift. 

But besides being the former home to one of Tampa's more well-known lawyers, the property is also steeped in local history. As previously mentioned, the house is literally located on what was once Lake Ellen Beach, known for it's 30-foot dive tower and waterslides. Before the popular swimming spot existed, the original owner, R.R. Beem (who also went by "Old Daddy" or "Red"), built a speakeasy and dancehall on the property during Prohibition, which resulted in him doing jail time.

However, according to archived articles from the Tampa Tribune, when he was released his speakeasy was burned to the ground. So, Beem decided to then reopen the property as a public beach in 1933.

"Tampa's coolest beach," as a former newspaper ad reads, was hugely popular and remained mostly undeveloped until the early '80s, when the land was then parceled out. Mulholland's home sits exactly where the picnic area of Lake Ellen Beach once was, and the swimming area side is now occupied by nearby townhomes.

The listing agent is Ree Waltzer of Palermo Real Estate Professionals (813-495-7336).