Hyannis Port
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The Kennedy Compound &

111 Irving Avenue "The President's House"

Barnstable, MA

 

 

 

By Steve Brawley

PPB EXCLUSIVE: Edward M. Kennedy Jr.'s 111 Irving Ave.

The Kennedy Compound at Hyannis Port (Barnstable, MA) will always be remembered as one of America's favorite Presidential retreats. The pictures of the youthful and energetic Kennedy's playing sports are commonplace in history books. The "Compound" term was coined by the press, but the property does not technically adhere to a true compound in that the streets are not closed (gated) and other non-Kennedy owned homes are adjacent.

The Kennedy Compound consists of homes at:

-50 Marchant Ave.(Joe and Rose's original home, now part of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute)

-111 Irving Ave. (JFK's original home, now owned by Edward Kennedy, Jr.)

-109 Irving Ave. (RFK's home, still lived in by Ethel)

Nearby Kennedy Homes:

-Eunice and Sergeant Shriver (Atlantic Ave.)

-Max Kennedy

-RFK Jr.

-Joan Kennedy (Squaw Island)

-Christopher Kennedy (Brambletyde on Squaw Island - leased by JFK in 1963)

Both happy and sad occasions have marked the compound's history. JFK waited out the election returns here with his family.

It was here that Rose and Joe learned of their son's assassination. Caroline's wedding reception was held on the lawn, as was Rose's 100th Birthday. JFK Jr. was on his way to a wedding at the compound the night of his plane crash. And, it was here that Teddy passed away from brain cancer.

The Kennedy Compound consists of about six acres of waterfront property along Nantucket Sound. It contained the homes of Joseph P. Kennedy and two of his sons, Robert and John. Eunice Shriver and RFK, Jr. also own homes nearby.Ted previously had a home on nearby Squaw Island, now owned by his first wife Joan. JFK and Jackie would also rent homes on Squaw Island during the summers of 1962 and 1963 for security and privacy reasons.

During the late 1950's and early 1960's, the latter utilized the compound as a base for his Presidential campaign and as a summer White House and Presidential retreat until his assassination in 1963.

In 1926 Joseph P. rented  the original summer cottage at 50 Marchant Avenue in Hyannis Port. Three years later, he purchased the structure, which had been erected in 1904, and enlarged and remodeled it to suit his family's needs. In and around this house, the children spent their summers, acquiring a lifelong interest in sailing and other competitive activities.

In 1956 JFK bought a smaller home of his own at 111 Irving Avenue, not far from that of his father. Caroline sold the house to her Uncle Teddy in 2005 after holding an auction selling many of its furnishings. Ted sold the house to his son Ted Jr. sometime around 2008. Ethel still lives at Hyannis Port in Robert's house on the Compound. In 2012, Teddy's widow Vicky announced that the main house (Joe Sr. and Rose's) would be donated to the Edward Kennedy Institute per his mother's wishes for historic preservation and research. No plans announced yet if public access will be provided.

All three buildings, none of which are accessible to the public, are white frame clapboarded structures typical of vacation residences on Cape Cod.

The Joseph P. Kennedy home, the largest and most impressive of the three, is surrounded by well-tended lawns and gardens and commands sweeping views of the ocean from its long porches. Rose Kennedy lived here until her death. Today the compound is still active with lots of Kennedy grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A significant portion of the furniture and decorations in the Kennedy's "President's House" Hyannis Port home was part of a collection of furniture and folk art purchased by the Kennedy family from Gerald Shea, a highly-regarded dealer in American decorative arts in the 1950s and 1960s.

Among the works from the Shea Collection sold in the 1995 auction was a Portrait of Captain Platt out of Portsmouth, with a Clipper Ship in the Distance, attributed to Frederick Mayhew, circa 1830, which hung behind President Kennedy in an official portrait taken during the summer of 1960. Captured in that iconic photograph, which would eventually grace the cover of the November 16, 1960 issue of Life Magazine.

Secret Service Guard Station at Hyannis (1961).

 

 

111 Irving Ave., The President's House (Exterior)

111 Irving Ave., (sold to Ted Kennedy by Caroline in 2005, and then to Ted Kennedy Jr. around 2008, extensive

renovations started Spring 2012).

111 Irving Ave. (Tim Sukhenko, 2011)

111 Irving Ave. (Tim Sukhenko, 2011)

111 Irving Ave., July 1960

111 Irving Ave., July 1960 (AP Wire)

111 Irving Ave., Oct. 1960

 

111 Irving Ave. (Tazewell Shepherd's, JFK Man and the Sea)

111 Irving Ave. (Steven Brawley collection)

111 Irving Ave. (Steven Brawley collection)

111 Irving Ave. (Steven Brawley collection)

111 Irving Ave., The President's House Photo Gallery:

Front Hall, Stairs & Front Living Room

(Sotheby's)

(Mark Shaw)

Jackie and Caroline Sept. 28, 1960 (NBC News Interview)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Sotheby's)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Mark Shaw)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Sotheby's)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

Back Sun Porch and Rear Living Room Area

(Mark Shaw) Doors to side Sun Porch on left.

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

 

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

Jackie watching Sept. 1960 Kennedy Nixon Debate


JFK being interviewed by Khruschev's son 1961 (JFK LIbrary)

JFK being interviewed by Khruschev's son 1961 (AP Wire)

Jackie watching the 1960 Democratic Convention

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Sotheby's)

Dining Room

(Sotheby's)

(Sotheby's)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Sotheby's)

(Sotheby's)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Sothebys)

(Mark Shaw)

Side Sun Porch

(Sotheby's)

(Sotheby's)

(Sothebys)

(Mark Shaw)

Side Sun Room Furniture and Sandwich Glass on display at Sotheby's Auction House 1995

Upstairs

(Sotheby's)

(Sotheby's)

(Sotheby's)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Alfred Eisenstaedt)

(Sotheby's)

(Sotheby's)

111 Irving Ave. Patio

(Mark Shaw)

(Mark Shaw)

(Mark Shaw)

(Mark Shaw)

President Kennedy meeting with advisors 1963.

President John Kennedy confers with three of his key advisors on the patio of his summer home at Hyannis Port, Mass.

on July 8, 1961. The meeting centered on the German and Berlin problem. From left to right: Secretary of Defence Robert

McNamara; General Maxwell Taylor, military representative to the President; President Kennedy; and Dean Rusk,

Secretary of State. (AP Photo/John Rous)

50 Marchant Ave., Joseph and Rose's House (Kennedy Institute)

109 Irving Ave., Robert and Ethel's House

Life on the Compound


Jackie and her mother Janet on Irving Ave. 

December 1960 Diaper Delivery at 111 Irving Ave.

Painting by Jackie of Hyannis Port - July 1960

NEW 1960 Privacy/Secret Service Fence

Huge TV trucks parked near the Hyannis Port pier in 1960 to transmit words and images

to the world. (Melissa Ludtke).

111 Irving Ave. Mortgage

From the RAAB Collection:

JFK and Jackie acquired their Irving Avenue residence in October 1956. The actual mortgage for the purchase

of the Summer White House, sheds light on the flow of the purchase transaction, supplying significant information not previously

widely known. It seems that the future President's father, Joe Kennedy, rather than Jack and Jackie, paid in full for the house.

So there was no bank mortgage. Joe then turned around and gave his son and daughter-in-law a no-interest mortgage for the purchase

price, thus saving them an enormous sum of money on interest over the years. So like many fathers, he sought to make things

financially easier for his children. It also suggests that, although the Kennedy family was very wealthy, the bulk of the money

was still vested in the parents, with the children perhaps still benefiting from the parents' financial assistance.

Document signed, Suffolk County, MA, January 2, 1957, being that very mortgage. "JOHN F. KENNEDY, married, of 122 Bowdoin Street,

Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, for consideration paid, grant to JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, of North Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach,

Florida, with mortgage covenants, to secure payment of Fifty Thousand ($50,000) Dollars in five years, without interest, as provided

in a Note of even date, the land and building thereon, situate at Irving Avenue, Hyannisport, Massachusetts, being the same

property conveyed to me, said JOHN F. KENNEDY, by deed dated the 8th day of October, 1956, from JOSEPH W. W0RTHEN,

Executor of the Will of Marie W. Daly, and recorded on the 9th day of October, 1956, in the Registry of Deeds, Plymouth,

Massachusetts. This mortgage is upon the statutory condition for any breach of which the mortgagee shall have the statutory

power of sale. JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY, wife of said mortgager, JOHN F. KENNEDY, releases unto said mortgagee,

JOSEPH P. KENNEDY, all rights of dower and homestead and other interests in the mortgaged premises. WITNESS our hands

and seals this 2nd day of January, 1957."

It is signed "John F. Kennedy" by the future President, and "Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy" by the future First Lady.

 

 

 

     
Steve Brawley (314) 740-0298