Kennedy Compound

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Kennedy Compound
Kennedy Compound 2021.jpg
The Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts in 2021
Kennedy Compound is located in Massachusetts
Kennedy Compound
Location of the Kennedy Compound in Massachusetts
Location50 Marchant Avenue
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, U.S.
Coordinates41°37′47.928″N 70°18′8.4954″W / 41.62998000°N 70.302359833°W / 41.62998000; -70.302359833Coordinates: 41°37′47.928″N 70°18′8.4954″W / 41.62998000°N 70.302359833°W / 41.62998000; -70.302359833
Area6 acres (24,000 m²)
Architectural styleClapboard
Part ofHyannis Port Historic District (ID87000259)
NRHP reference No.72001302[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 28, 1972
Designated NHLDNovember 28, 1972
Designated CPNovember 10, 1987

The Kennedy Compound consists of three houses on six acres (2.4 hectares) of waterfront property on Cape Cod along Nantucket Sound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, in the United States. It was once the home of Joseph P. Kennedy, an American businessman, investor, politician, and U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom; his wife, Rose; and their children, including U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Senators Robert F. Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy. As an adult, the youngest son, Edward, lived in his parents' house, and it was his primary residence from 1982 until he died of brain cancer at the compound, in August 2009.[2]

John F. Kennedy used the compound as a base for his successful 1960 U.S. presidential campaign and later as a summer White House and presidential retreat, until his assassination in November 1963. In 2012, the main house was donated to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.[3] As of 2020, Robert Kennedy's widow Ethel lives in their home adjacent to the main house.


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

In 1956, John bought a smaller home of his own at 111 Irving Avenue,(41°37′51″N 70°18′13″W / 41.6308°N 70.3035°W / 41.6308; -70.3035) not far from his father's home. In 1959 Edward acquired the residence at 28 Marchant Avenue (41°37′48″N 70°18′11″W / 41.63°N 70.303°W / 41.63; -70.303) adjacent to the other two but in 1961 sold it to Robert and his wife Ethel. Edward lived in the main house at the compound until his death.[4]

Current residence[edit]

In 2019, one of Robert Kennedy's granddaughters, 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill (daughter of Kennedy's daughter Courtney), died of an overdose in a residence at the compound, where her grandmother Ethel Kennedy lives.[5][6]


Kennedy Compound in 1972

All three buildings are white, frame, clapboard structures typical of vacation residences on Cape Cod. Except for specific occasions at the Main House, the buildings are not available for public visitation.

Main house[edit]

Joseph's home, the Main House and the largest of the three, is surrounded by well-tended lawns and gardens and it commands sweeping views of the ocean from its long porches.

On the main floor are a living room, dining room, sun room, television room, kitchen, various pantries, utility rooms and the bedroom that John used before he purchased his own house in the compound.

On the second floor are six bedrooms, a sewing room, packing room, and four servants' bedrooms. The house has a full attic.

The basement contains a motion-picture theater and a hall covered with dolls from all around the world.

The house has changed little, either structurally or in furnishings, since President Kennedy's association with it.

In 2012, the main house was donated by the Kennedy family to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. On the grounds are an enclosed swimming pool, tennis court, a four-car garage, and two guest houses.

There are two circular driveways with flagpoles standing in the middle, a boathouse and several large stretches of lawn area where many of the family touch football games were played.

Other parcels of land that assorted members of the family have purchased remain as well-tended as those of the more prominent homes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ Staff writer (August 27, 2009). "Kennedy Compound to Be Converted to Museum – Sen. Edward Kennedy Succumbed to Brain Cancer at the Compound Tuesday Night and the Family Held a Private Mass for the Legendary Senator Thursday Morning". Fox News. Accessed August 29, 2009.
  3. ^ "Main House At Kennedy Compound Given To Institute". WBUR. January 30, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  4. ^ Berry, Jake (August 29, 2009). "Future of compound fueling rumor mill". Cape Cod Times. Archived from the original on October 26, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q.; Martin, Jonathan (August 1, 2019). "Granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy Dies After Overdose at Family's Compound". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
  6. ^ Carolyn Sung; Nicole Chavez; Kevin Liptak (August 2019). "Saoirse Kennedy Hill, a granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, dead after being found unresponsive at family compound". CNN. Retrieved July 20, 2020.


External links[edit]