Kennedy Compound Home “Gifted” to Edward M. Kennedy Institute

In keeping with the wishes made by the late Sen. Edward (“Teddy”) Kennedy, the famed Kennedy Compound at 50 Marchant Avenue in Hyannis, MA has been gifted to the Edward M, Kennedy Institute, it was just learned.

This gesture fulfills a promise that Teddy and his widow, Vicki, made to his mother, Rose, that the home be preserved for charitable use.

“From our earliest discussions about the EMK Institute, Teddy and I dreamed of a place that would encourage public engagement and inspire political leadership in future generations. The acceptance of the gift of this historic home in Hyannis Port is a significant step forward in fulfilling that mission,” said Vicki Kennedy

Just last summer, the future plans of the Kennedy home were headlined as a “family divided.” The Kennedy Compound (even though it’s really not a compound) was the main gathering spot for America’s political family dynasty that offered photographic moments of celebration and crisis around the lives and families, starting with the patriarch, Joe Kennedy, wife Rose and their famous children: President John F. Kennedy, the late Sen. Robert Kennedy and Sen. Teddy Kennedy.

Common weekends involved sailing in the waters in front of the home, or playing touch football on the lawn. Many weddings and receptions were held here, but it was also where the family gathered to grieve and repair after tragic events: JFK’s assassination, Teddy Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick tragedy and JFK Jr’s fatal plane crash.

How will the home be used? According to sacbee.com:

Recognizing the special history and importance of the home, the EMK Institute will assemble a team of experts in historic preservation who will offer recommendations on usage, programming and public visitations.  Renowned presidential historian Michael Beschloss has agreed to serve the Institute as an advisor and will help evaluate the recommendations of the advisory team.

The EMK offers these other interesting tidbits:

  • In giving this gift, Vicki Kennedy has given away her rights to the property.
  • No federal funds will be used for property upkeep. A $3.2 million donation from the Committee to Re-Elect Edward M. Kennedy campaign fund will fund maintenance and operational costs.
  • The Kennedy family will have limited usage of the property going forward.
  • Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy purchased the property on October 31, 1928.
  • The home was originally a 15-room white clapboard house on about two and a half acres, with a lawn running down to Nantucket Sound.
  • The home today sits on 1.93 acres and is 9,055 square feet.