- Also Known As: Homes of Joseph P.,John F., and Robert F. Kennedy
The theologians worked for a day and a half among ourselves at a nearby hotel. In the evening we answered questions from the Kennedys and the Shrivers. Though the theologians disagreed on many a point, they all concurred on certain basics ... and that was that a Catholic politician could in good conscience vote in favor of abortion. - Academic theologian, the Rev Giles Milhaven, recalling his 1964 summer meeting in Hyannisport during a 1984 breakfast briefing of Catholics for a Free Choice
The Kennedy Compound consists of approximately six acres of waterfront property on Nantucket Sound containing the residences of Joseph P Kennedy, Robert F Kennedy, and John F Kennedy. All are white frame clapboarded structures typical of vacation homes on Cape Cod. The Joseph P Kennedy home is the largest and most impressive of the three, commanding sweeping views of the ocean from its long, shaded porches and surrounded by well-tended lawns and gardens. On the main floor are a living room, dining room, sun room, television room, sports room, the "President's Bedroom" (which President Kennedy used before buying the Irving Avenue home), and assorted kitchen, pantry, and utility rooms. On the second floor are six bedrooms, a sewing room, packing room, den, and four servants' bedrooms. There is a full attic and a full basement. In the latter is a motion picture theater and sauna. On the grounds, in addition to gardens, are a swimming pool (now enclosed), tennis court, and four-car garage. This house has been little changed, either structurally or in furnishings since the President's association with it. Immediately adjacent to the Joseph P Kennedy home stands the Robert F Kennedy home, a more modest but nonetheless spacious structure of two stories; and behind it, fronting on Irving Avenue, the still more modest John F Kennedy residence.
The reputation of the Kennedy Compound at Hyannis Port is known to virtually all Americans of political consciousness during the early 1960s. It was the home base of John F Kennedy during his campaign for the presidency in 1960 and served as the Summer White Mouse in 1961. Pierre Salinger in his book With Kennedy (1966( wrote, "Of all the places the President went to rest, his- favorite was his house at Hyannis Port." Presidential security and privacy proved difficult in its neighborhood of relatively close vacation houses, however, and President Kennedy's subsequent summer stays were in homes on nearby Squaw Island. - NRHP, 28 November 1972