Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Kennedy "Winter White House" is for Sale!

If you have been following my blog for some time, you know that one of my favorite pastimes is stalking real estate listings. So you can imagine my excitement when the famed Kennedy Compound on Palm Beach, Florida went on the market, providing an opportunity to take a glimpse inside the "Winter White House" and a slice of Camelot!


The Mediterranean Revival was built in the early 1920s by Addison Mizner, the legendary Palm Beach architect, for department store tycoon Rodman Wanamaker. Wanamaker sold the estate to Joeseph P. Kennedy for approximately $100,000 in 1933. Joe Kennedy added an additional wing to the house, designed by Maurice Fatio, along with a swimming pool and tennis court.

Image via from the Archives of the State of Florida - Photos: 1923 - Public Domain


In 1995, the Kennedys sold the house, which was in disrepair and still without air conditioning and central heating, for $4.9M to the current owners, John K. Castle, chairman and CEO of Castle Harlan Inc., a New York-based investment firm, and his wife Marianne.

"Everyone in Palm Beach considered it a teardown," Castle told Fast Company magazine in 2003. "They said the house was ugly and awful, beyond saving. If one of the few gas-fired heaters exploded, I wouldn't have been surprised."

But fortunately, Castle grasped the home's potential and historical significance, calling it a "national sanctuary." The Castles underwent a two year, $6M renovation in keeping with the home's historical significance and Mizner's original vision. They also purchased most of the Kennedy furniture for an additional $80K, including the beds of Joe, Jack, Bobby, and Ted, the family's 18-foot-long dining table, J.F.K.'s mahogany massage table, and a chest of drawers with each drawer bearing a label in Rose's handwriting describing the contents.

Without further ado, let's check out the MLS pictures, along with historic images of "The Winter White House" via The Pink Pillbox and other sources where noted.



Easter, 1963 via


Front view, via The Palm Beach Post






















Click here to take a tour with the current owner, John Castle. 

And here for yet another tour! 

Located at 1095 N. Ocean Boulevard, Palm Beach, Florida, this 15,347 square foot home has 11 bedrooms, 12 baths, and three partial baths. The listing is $38.5M. To view the listing, click here.  For more historic images of the Winter White House, please visit the Pink Pill Box. Additional pictures can also be found here  and here at the Palm Beach Post.

15 comments:

  1. My oh My what an amazing return on investment! its a stunning home steeped in glamorous history. good for him for being such a visionary.

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  2. I love this! Such a beautiful home and so much history! What a treasure!

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  3. What a fabulous post! Thank you so much Pamela

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  4. I love a home with such rich history and this one, if I could afford it, would be at the top of my list! The Kennedy's are practically American Royalty and I can just imagine all the stories you can dig up on this historic home. I think it's well worth the price! Thanks for sharing Andrea!

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  5. This is fabulous! I obviously LOVE real estate, hence I sell homes, however homes with such a history like the Kennedy's living in it is even more amazing!!!

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  6. VERY COOL -- love this post and this piece of history!

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  7. Wow...steep price tag but probably worth every penny! I love all of the iconic photos! Thanks for a great post! xoxo

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  8. I am going to have to reread this 10 more times to soak up all the goodness!

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  9. Wouldn’t it make the most amazing inn? People like me would clamor to stay there. Thanks for sharing another amazing home in PB, Andrea.

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  10. They should make a museum out of this historic home!! Then everyone could enjoy seeing it..

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  11. Its beautiful...Its charming...cant believe that people want to tear it down!

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  12. haha!!! i saw this story and died from jealousy that i hadn't done it!!! soooooo jealous! then i saw you probably felt the same as I did about the Charleston stories!!! great minds think alike. seriously, I am GREEN with jealousy!!!! I love historic before and after stories and the kennedys - and you did a great job too!!! JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

    joni
    cotedetexas@aol.com

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  13. Great post! I am a self admitted Kennedyphile and I went through this post 3 times (so far) and sent your link to 4 friends. What a house! And such wonderful history!! Have a great weekend!

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  14. Wow, camelot with palm trees! Love it!

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  15. The photos and videos in this post give me chills. Great post...beautiful home!

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Thank you for your lovely comments. They absolutely make my day!

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