Kennedy Compound

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 an American businessman, investor, politician, and U.S. ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy; 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]

Kennedy Compound
Main house of the Kennedy Compound (1972).
Location100 Marchant Avenue
Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, U.S.
Coordinates41°37′47.928″N 70°18′8.4954″W
Area6 acres (24,000 m²)
Architectural styleClapboard
Part ofHyannis Port Historic District (#87000259)
NRHP reference #72001302[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 28, 1972
Designated NHLDNovember 28, 1972
Designated CPNovember 10, 1987

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 2019, Robert Kennedy's widow Ethel lives in their adjacent home to the main house.[4]


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,(41.6308°N 70.3035°W / 41.6308; -70.3035) not far from his father's home. Subsequently, Edward acquired the residence at 28 Marchant Avenue (41.63°N 70.303°W / 41.63; -70.303) adjacent to the other two in 1959 and sold it to Robert and his wife Ethel in 1961. Edward lived in the main house at the compound until his death.[5]

Current residence

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.[6][7]


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

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.[8]

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.[8]

On the second floor are six bedrooms, a sewing room, packing room, and four servants' bedrooms. The house has a full attic.[8]

The basement contains a motion-picture theater and a hall covered with dolls from all around the world.[8] A wine cellar designed after a ship's hull and a sipping room – one of the Kennedy family's favorite hideouts.[8]

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



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