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 (#87000259)|
|NRHP Reference #||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, United States. It was once the home of American businessman and political figure Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., his wife Rose, and two of their sons, President John F. Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. Their youngest son, Senator Ted Kennedy, lived in his parents' house, and it was his main residence from 1982 to 2009. He died of brain cancer at the compound in August 2009.
President 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.
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 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, Jack bought a smaller home of his own at 111 Irving Avenue ( ), not far from his father's home. Subsequently, Ted acquired the residence at 28 Marchant Avenue ( ) adjacent to the other two in 1959 and sold it to Bobby and his wife Ethel in 1961. Edward lived in the compound until his death.
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.
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. It is considered the place that Ted coined the well-known toast "There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be."
The house has changed little, either structurally or in furnishings, since John'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 Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- 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. 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
- Berry, Jake (2009-08-29). "Future of compound fueling rumor mill". Cape Cod Times. Archived from the original on 2011-10-10. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- This article incorporates public domain material from the National Park Service document "The Presidents (Kennedy Compound)".
- Knight, Wendy (August 18, 2006). "A Harbor Full of History and Sea Lore on Cape Cod". The New York Times. Retrieved August 29, 2009.