Most people immediately think of the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts when they think of John F. Kennedy’s home. But a lesser known house in Virginia that JFK and his wife Jackie had built the year that he died has surfaced in the news again this month.
According to a recent Zillow article by Erika Riggs,
In the winter of 1963, John and Jacqueline Kennedy purchased 39 acres in Middleburg, Virginia. While the president preferred the family home in Hyannis, Mass., the first lady wanted the pastoral land to pursue her love of horseback riding.
They finished the home in October 1963 and spent only two weekends there. The family last visited on Nov. 10, 1963, just 12 days before JFK was assassinated in Dallas. Jacqueline withdrew to the home after his death to grieve, but within a year, she sold the estate.
Now three owners and 50 years later, the custom estate has entered the news cycle again. Nicknamed Wexford — in honor of the Irish county where the Kennedy family traces its roots — the house is listed for $10.995 million.
This is huge news in the real estate world because this gem has not been on the market for 22 years, and was largely forgotten. But with all the recent hub-bub from the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK, there is renewed interest in this bucolic hidden-away ranch.
The house was actually entirely custom designed by the former president’s wife and sited by the couple to have the most optimum views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Jacqueline Kennedy is quoted as saying:
It’s the only house that Jack and I ever built together, and I designed it all myself … I don’t want it exploited and photographed all over the place, just because it was ours.
Remarkably, the house – both inside and out – has remained largely unscathed since Mrs. Kennedy sold it a year after the death of her husband.
But the Kennedy’s are not the only presidential connection this house has. According to the listing blurb, in the fall of 1980 Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy leased the property during the presidential election campaign. Reagan then spent time at the Virginia ranch during the transition period prior to his inauguration.
I’m not an expert on Jackie O’s famous style, but I’m pretty sure this is NOT her hand at decorating…
The interior is frozen in time circa 1983, but fun to look at nonetheless. The parquet floors are original.
The ranch-style home has a total of 5,050 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms.
The kitchen has had some updating – probably in the 1990’s by the looks of it – but those cabinets look original:
The property also has a horse stable with studio space above….
….as well as an in-ground pool, an outdoor cooking area, and a rather sad looking tennis court that harkens back to days that might have been….
There is also a 3-car garage:
The neatest thing about this property is that it “still contains an underground bunker and dependencies used by Secret Service personnel“, according to the listing.
As peaceful as it is, there is a certain somberness that taints this place.
(Special thanks to Carl for telling me about Wexford!)