The famed Kennedy Compound in Palm Beach, Fla. that served as JFK and Jackie's "Winter White House" has gone to market with colossal asking price worthy of the well-known selling power of America's First Family. Last sold by the Kennedy family in 1995 to investment bank CEO John K. Castle for $4.9M, the 15,000-square-foot Atlantic Beach compound is back with a $38.5M price tag. One considered a "teardown," the 1920s Mediterranean Revival has since been given a $6M renovation, and going off the listing photos, it's never looked better.
The 11-bedroom abode was built in 1925 by legendary resort architect Addison Mizner for department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker. John F.'s father Joseph P. Kennedy bought the place in 1933 for $120K. According to local lore, the family would visit for "Easter, Christmas and Spring Break," where they would "play tennis and spend time on the beach." Before it became the go-to spot for presidential vacations, Joe Kennedy commissioned an additional wing from high-society standby Maurice Fatio, and also had a tennis court and a swimming pool put in.
Because this was JFK's parents' domain, he and Jackie also rented a nearby house owned by C. Michael Paul for some visits. Still, Kennedy is said to have held "press conferences and presidential meetings" in the oceanfront home, in addition to playing golf at the Palm Beach Country Club, getting burgers at Hamburger Heaven, and visiting St. Edward's Catholic Church with his mother Rose. (The above photo of the Kennedys standing out front was taken in 1961; lots more can be found here.)
"Everyone in Palm Beach considered it a teardown," the current owner once told Fast Company. "They said the house was ugly and awful, beyond saving. If one of the few gas-fired heaters exploded, I wouldn't have been surprised." Still, Castle considered it a "national sanctuary," and gave it a two-year, $6M renovation befitting one, also purchasing a large portion of the Kennedy furniture for $80K, including, as Glam Pad notes, "the beds of Joe, Jack, Bobby, and Ted, the family's 18-foot-long dining table, J.F.K.'s mahogany massage table, and a chest of drawers with each drawer bearing a label in Rose's handwriting describing the contents."
The current listing is surprisingly mum on the details, noting little else besides "sweeping direct oceanfront views." Perhaps the photos should speak for themselves. Also worth noting: JFK and Jackie's custom Virginia spread is still looking for a reduced $7.95M.
[Photos have been removed at the brokers' request]
· The Kennedy 'Winter White House' is for sale! [The Glam Pad]
· 1095 N Ocean Boulevard [Linda Olsson]
· The Selling Power of America's First Family, The Kennedys [Curbed National]
· On His Birthday, Mapping John F. Kennedy's Many Homes [Curbed National]
· All Kennedy coverage [Curbed National]
All Palm Beach coverage [Curbed National]