INSIDE THE AMAZING & INFAMOUS FORMER PALM BEACH KENNEDY COMPOUND: BUY IT FOR $38 MILLION
UPDATE (May 2015): The Palm Beach Post reports the compound was sold to Jane Goldman, a part-time Palm Beach resident for $31 million.
Own a piece of history – the former Kennedy Compound in Palm Beach is for sale.
Considered a tear-down in 1995 by neighbors, the property was sold by the Kennedys for the bargain-basement price of $5 million to John Castle. The investment banker then embarked on a three-year extensive, respectful restoration and modernization of the oceanfront property. He added air conditioning and heat and even went so far as to precisely replace the back yard palm trees.
A brilliant deal-maker, Castle also purchased and preserved most of the Kennedy furniture in the estate – including the bed the future president slept on and dining table he ate at for decades – for an extra $80,000 cash. Considering that two years later, Sotheby’s sold one pair of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis’ silverplate salt and pepper shakers for $1300, he got one of the deals of the century.
Today, 1.3 acre property with 11 bedrooms, 12 bathrooms and three half-bathrooms is listed for $38 million, furniture not included. [read more below images]
Joseph Kennedy purchased the compound, 65 miles north of Miami, in 1933 for $120,000 (today, the taxes are $273,000) making it the winter hub of his large family. JFK and Bobby shared a street-side room on the first floor without an ocean view, supposedly to make it easier to sneak in and out.
The estate was originally built in 1922 for the Wanamaker family of Philadelphia. It was designed by Addison Mizner whose Mediterranean-style homes are said to be the “epitome” of Palm Beach architecture. The family named the home “La Guerida” – the bounty of war. When JFK became president, the media called the property the “Winter White House” or “Camelot South.”
In the 90’s the compound was known for another rascally Kennedy. William Kennedy Smith was acquitted of rape charges stemming from a late-night rendezvous on the beach near the property.
Purchase the property and your neighbors will include Howard and Beth Stern, fancy-pants old-money society and international royalty. The Kardashians are forbidden to even say the name of the town. My 1968 Palm Beach Garden Club Cook Book features, errr… uppercrust recipes like cucumber and pumpernickel tea sandwiches and chicken breasts with duxelles.