Zillow – Jackie and John F. Kennedy’s Horse-Country Estate For Sale In Virginia
John F. Kennedy’s legacy has been the subject of much memorialization this year: The 50th anniversary of his assassination in Dallas, the shock over the prince of Camelot’s untimely death and the loss of this admired U.S. president continues to sadly reverberate.
However, despite the solemnity of this year’s tragic anniversary, at least there’s a bit of intriguing news about the only house ever built by Jackie and John F. Kennedy: It’s for sale.
For $11 million, the sprawling estate just outside of Middleburg, VA designed by Jackie and completed only weeks before JFK’s murder on Nov. 22, 1963, can be yours.
The estate, named “Wexford” by Jackie Kennedy after a county in Ireland where the Kennedy clan had roots, comes with 167 acres and majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is an absolutely unique opportunity to dwell where JFK lived, even if only Kennedy was only able to enjoy the peaceful grounds and 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home for two short weeks.
While the Kennedys were famous for their pilgrimages to their Cape Cod compound in Hyannis, MA – the scene of so many iconic images of the President and his many siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins – it was in this tranquil section of Virginia where Jackie Kennedy joyously sought to create a family retreat away from the cameras and commotion that followed the famous First Family.
“It has been kept pretty much, as it was. It’s generally speaking the same house,’’ said listing agent Patricia Burns. “I think we would all like to keep as original as possible, and keep it from being developed. We’re hoping someone that loves Kennedy would want to keep the house, put it on the historic registrar. I mean, this is a home that they built.”
The home spans 5,050 square foot and contains the original parquet floors, his-and-her dressing rooms, multiple fireplaces, a formal dining room, built-in cabinets and bookcases, nine-foot ceilings and alternate power generators.
The outdoors reflect the natural setting Jackie Kennedy was looking for in her horse-country estate just an hour from the White House. There’s lots of natural stone landscaping, a flagstone pool deck with an outdoors cooking area, and vine-covered trellises, stone patio and a tennis court.
There are also stables, a three-car garage and, yes, there’s still an underground bunker and facilities used by Secret Service personnel.
Burns said that after the construction was completed, Jackie added about $10,000 in renovations, including the addition of a special communications room to allow JFK access to other officials back in Washington DC.
The property is not very well known, even among Kennedy aficionados, which is pretty much the kind of solitude Jackie Kennedy was looking for.
“I don’t want it [Wexford] to be exploited and photographed all over the place just because it was ours,’’ she was quoted in a publication called “The Kennedy White House: Family Life and Pictures, 1961-1963.”
“It’s the only house Jack and I ever built together, and I designed it all myself,” she’s quoted as saying.
Pillbox.com publisher Steven L. Brawley writes that the Kennedy’s only had a few visits to Wexford, which was completed in the spring of 1963 but rented out until October, since the Kennedy’s had a lease on another Middleberg area farm, Glenora, until the fall of 1963.
“Preoccupied with the growing pressures of issues related to Vietnam and the upcoming election year, JFK’s first weekend at Wexford did not go so well. An excited Jackie was upset that her husband complained about the lack of closet space and having to give up his personal bedroom if they had several houseguests at the new home,’’ Brawley wrote.
“His second visit, just before the assassination, went smoother and the relaxed couple hosted their friends Ben and Toni Bradlee (home movies of this weekend exist.) That weekend John Jr. finally got the ‘salute’ he had been practicing just right for Jackie. We know two weeks later his rehearsals would sadly pay off,’’ Brawley said.
It was also apparently at Wexford that Jackie made the final decision to go to Dallas and to begin the 1964 campaign.
According to the reports, the property was sold months after Kennedy was assassinated to a Mr. and Mrs. Q.N. Yng-Wong for $225,000. There was a stipulation that no publicity photos of the house would be taken or released for 10 years.
The Wongs renamed it after a Chinese county, but the name Wexford had already stuck. According to the Loudon Times, most of the signage still says “Wexford.”
In 1980, President Ronald Reagan rented the house from a Nixon cabinet member to prepare for his debate against Jimmy Carter.
The Wongs sold the home in 1971 for $314,000 to Dr. George Tanham, according to records. They sold the estate to William Clements, a member of Richard Nixon’s administration who was later elected governor of Texas.
Given the renewed interest in John F. Kennedy, Burns said that the property has been given a good amount of attention, although showings are only for those who show proof of funds. There are opportunities for potential buyers to gain a conservation easement, or have the property place on the National Historic Registry.
See more images of the custom Kennedy home on the Zillow blog.