Real estate

Listing of the week: JFK's custom home for sale

Dec. 4, 2013 at 3:14 PM ET

The custom home visited just twice by John and Jackie Kennedy in Middleburg, Va., is for sale for $10.995 million.
Zillow
The custom home visited just twice by John and Jackie Kennedy in Middleburg, Va., is for sale for $10.995 million.

On Nov. 10, 1963, John and Jackie Kennedy spent a quiet weekend with their family at their new custom estate in Middleburg, Va. It was only the second time they had visited; the home had just been finished the month before.

The visit ended up being the last family visit to the sprawling ranch home. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas just 12 days later. While Jackie did return to the home to grieve, she ended up selling the ranch home just a year later.

For the next 50 years, the rural estate remained largely hidden from the public, until a little less than a month ago, when it hit the market for $10.995 million.

The house has remained mostly unchanged in its spot overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. Subsequent owners added on acreage, but the structure of the home — custom designed by the Kennedys — has remained intact.

“You see photos of the home — videos of them being there — and to see it now, it looks the same,” said listing agent Patricia Burns.

The living room of the custom home visited just twice by John and Jackie Kennedy in Middleburg, Va.
Zillow
The living room of the custom home visited just twice by John and Jackie Kennedy in Middleburg, Va.

Compared with the Kennedy Compound, which dominates 6 acres along Cape Cod, Wexford is rather simple, which is exactly how Jacqueline wanted it. She was 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.”

Originally sitting on a 39-acre lot, the house now dominates 150 acres. A winding gravel drive leads through stone gates, which still boast the Wexford name, given in honor of the Irish county where the Kennedy family traces its roots.

The house itself sits on a hill with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Measuring 5,055 square feet, the stucco ranch is filled with mid-century details: parquet floors, built-in cabinets and bookshelves and 9-foot ceilings. Sliding glass doors open to the patio, a sloping lawn and, once upon a time, a swing set for Caroline and John F. Kennedy Jr. An underground bunker and security detail, built for the Secret Service, is still accessible.

The custom home of John F. Kennedy remains largely unchanged since it was built in 1963.
Zillow
The custom home of John F. Kennedy remains largely unchanged since it was built in 1963.

Although the Kennedys didn’t step foot in the home after the late 1960s, the house continued to have a role in politics. Just an hour from D.C., the residence was leased by Ronald Reagan during the 1980 presidential election campaign.

Listing agent Burns hopes the home’s political history will ensure its continued protection and maintenance by future owners.

“I’m sort of a child of that time period, and I remember when Kennedy was assassinated and now I have this listing 50 years later,” she said. “It’s amazing. We would all like to keep it as original as possible, and keep it from being developed. We’re hoping someone that loves the Kennedys would want to buy the house.”

View videos of the home from the 1960s at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

See more images of the home here.

Related stories:

Kennedy Compound Home ‘Gifted’ to Edward M. Kennedy Institute
House of the Week: Ronald Reagan’s Pacific Palisades Home
Homes of Former Presidents

Erika Riggs, a real estate writer for Zillow Blog, covers celebrity real estate, unusual properties and home design trends. Read more of her work here

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