Monday, January 18, 2010
The Washington, DC area has been home to the Kennedy clan through the years, but perhaps signifying the end of an era, the last three grand DC area estates from JFK’s generation have recently been on the real estate block – two have sold, and one was recently listed.
First up – Hickory Hill, the McLean, Virginia home of Robert Kennedy; it was originally owned by JFK, who sold it to his brother in 1956. The real estate listing notes that this home was built in the late 1800s, and sits on almost 6 acres. It has 12 bedrooms, 10.5 bathrooms, and is only 12 minutes from Georgetown. The home was on the market for over 5 years; it originally listed for $25 million; it was later reduced to $16 million, then again to $12.5 million. The Washington Fine Homes website notes that it sold in January 2010 for $8.25 million; inside sources say that a technology mogul is the new owner. (I snapped the picture above, when on a trip to DC last year)
Cote de Texas did an extensive post on this home and the Robert Kennedy family. Zillow notes the home as 7,332 square feet, which of course is quite large; somehow, based on the exterior, I thought it would be even larger than that!
The family dining room, which has probably hosted its fair share of family dinners and other noteworthy events. If only the walls could talk!
The blue room, which serves as the home’s library; Joni of Cote de Texas notes that this is to the right of the front door.
The pink sitting room, which Joni notes is to the left of the entry. (All images via Washington Fine Homes)
Next, the home of Eunice and Sargent Shriver (Eunice, who died in August on ‘09, was John Kennedy’s sister and founder of the Special Olympics). Built in 1986, the 16,000 square foot home in Potomac, Maryland sits on 7 acres, and has 10 bedrooms, 11 1/2 bathrooms. It was originally listed for $11.8 million, and sold recently for $7.81 million; an international humanitarian organization purchased the property. All images via Washington Fine Homes and the WSJ.
This hall reportedly spans the entire width of the house! This truly looks like a family home that has been decorated for living; the home is filled with the pictures and furniture that the family loves, and does not seem to be designed solely to be impressive or magazine worthy.
As this home was built in the 1980s, it does not have the aged feel of Hickory Hill, but the decor does feels a bit fresher. Clearly the Shrivers were big fans of art and framed items, no doubt all meaningful in some way or another. I am intrigued by the large painting on the wall to the left of the door – perhaps it is a modern portrait of Maria Shriver.
A large formal dining room – something that all of the Kennedy homes seem to have in common. Based on the size of the rug, and the extra chairs in the room, this table was probably expanded on a regular basis to accommodate larger groups.
A music room that is decorated a bit more casually, again filled with portraits and meaningful framed items. Note the presidential seal on the wall to the left of the door, and the framed items that are hung on the inside of the door.
The back view of the Shrivers’ home – truly bucolic. Interesting that there is very little hardscape other than a small flagstone patio; it reminds me of something from a movie based on a Jane Austen book. I can only imagine what it must cost to keep this lawn mowed!
Finally, the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s house was recently listed for sale. The price is upon request, although I have heard speculation that the home is in the $8 million range. Senator Kennedy purchased this property in 1998 for $2.8 million; there are 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, an indoor lap pool, and a total of 8900 square feet. All of this in one of the most prime urban areas of Washington DC, Kalorama.
Given that this is right in Washington DC, the home is not on a large piece of land like the other two. It bears a striking resemblance to another famous Washington DC home, doesn’t it? The real estate listing notes that the location is the best block of one of the best neighborhoods in DC.
The front door has a beautiful fanlight above.
The foyer is unusual, but probably very well suited for greeting the many guests that graced these halls during diplomatic dinners, fundraisers, and family gatherings. It looks like the floor is made out of stone. Image via listing.
Ted Kennedy’s home was featured in the November 1999 issue of Architectural Digest, one year after he moved in. The picture on the top is the real estate listing picture; on the bottom is the Architectural Digest picture (photo credit Bruce Katz). The room has remained remarkably unchanged in the 11 years since the photo shoot. The painting above the fireplace has changed, and the piano has been rotated (although, these things could have been changed just for the AD photo shoot). The AD article noted that this room functions beautifully when accommodating both large crowds and small groups. Interior design by Josepha Faley, ASID, of Chatsworth Design.
The room from a different angle.
A peek at the room beyond the living room, from the AD article – I love those jardinieres.
Here is a longer view of the same room, in the real estate listing. The painted floors are beautiful; it looks like there is a subtle nautical theme, with the compass and boat wheel.
The dining room as seen in the AD article.
The dining room on the real estate listing. The perspective of the real estate picture gives a sense for the size of this room. It is truly a dining room made for entertaining!
The library as seen in the AD article – a cozy little nook in the large home.
The library, as seen in the real estate listing. I preferred the chairs around the fire – seemed cozier!
Another view of the library, as seen in the real estate listing. Based on the view in the hall, this is at the top of the stairs of the entry hall.
A view of the master bedroom from the real estate listing looks as if time has stood still at this house! The AD article noted that the bed is by Julia Gray. I love the sculptural quality of the chandelier. Image via real estate listing.
Another perspective of the master bedroom shows that this is a room filled with natural light. Image via real estate listing.
The real estate listing has given us a peek into the kitchen of the home. Interesting cut out above the sink. I always love a bank of windows in a kitchen!
The house has an indoor lap pool – based on the tree line, I wonder if this is on the second floor?
As well as a lovely terrace off the back of the house.
Ted Kennedy’s home is listed by TTR Sotheby’s International Realty. For more information on this listing, please see the website for the listing - http://www.ttrsir.com/detail/Washington/KALORAMA/4212133. The contact information for the house and the realtors can be found on this page.
So, the end of an era in Washington DC – but based on insider information about who has purchased these homes, the beginning of a new era. I hope you enjoyed the tour - what a rare thing to get to see inside three Kennedy homes! Which home is your favorite? I would have to say that Ted Kennedy’s home appeals to me from a location perspective.
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