Main house of the Kennedy Compound (1972).
|Location||100 Marchant Avenue|
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Area||6 acres (24,000 m²)|
|Part of||Hyannis Port Historic District (ID87000259)|
|NRHP reference No.||72001302|
|Added to NRHP||November 28, 1972|
|Designated NHLD||November 28, 1972|
|Designated CP||November 10, 1987|
The Kennedy Compound consists of three houses on six acres (24,000 m²) 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 Great Britain; 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.
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. As of 2020, Robert Kennedy's widow Ethel lives in their adjacent home 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 2019, one of Robert Kennedy's granddaughters, 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.
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.
On the main floor are a living room, dining room, sun room, television room, the bedroom that John used before he purchased his own house in the compound, the kitchen, and various pantries and utility rooms.
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. A wine cellar designed after a ship's hull and a sipping room[clarification needed] – one of the Kennedy family's favorite hideouts.
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.
Other parcels of land that assorted members of the family have purchased remain as well-tended as those of the more prominent homes.
- List of National Historic Landmarks in Massachusetts
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Barnstable County, Massachusetts
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
- 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.
- "Main House At Kennedy Compound Given To Institute". WBUR. January 30, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
- 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.
- Berry, Jake (August 29, 2009). "Future of compound fueling rumor mill". Cape Cod Times. Archived from the original on October 10, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- Carolyn Sung; Nicole Chavez; Kevin Liptak. "Saoirse Kennedy Hill, a granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy, dead after being found unresponsive at family compound". CNN. Retrieved July 20, 2020.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the National Park Service document: "Kennedy Compound". The Presidents.
- Knight, Wendy (August 18, 2006). "A Harbor Full of History and Sea Lore on Cape Cod". The New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2009.