Heard of the Kennedy family? Presidents, senators, ambassadors and attorney generals… The Boston-based family was (and still is) a dynasty in American business and politics going back to the 1920’s.
In 1933 Joseph P. Kennedy Sr, purchased a home (for $120,000) on the shoreline of Palm Beach just north of the historic Breakers Hotel to use as a winter retreat for his family. Nearly three decades later, the home would be known as the “Winter White House” where President John F. Kennedy would hold press conferences, write “Profiles in Courage” as senator and spend one last weekend before embarking on his final trip ever… Dallas, TX.
More than just a tropical operation center, Palm Beach was home to the Boston family every winter and they loved it there according to their neighbors. Swimming, sailing, touch football and several holidays (including the Kennedy’s final Easter at St. Edwards Catholic Church) were spent in Palm Beach leaving a positive impression on the very much Republican town.
The estate stayed in the Kennedy family for over 60 years until it was sold to New York businessman John Castle in 1995. It has since changed hands once again at the price of $31 million. The only thing visible today from the street at 1095 N. Ocean Blvd is the infamous door to the long-covered walkway into the main house which was the site of press conferences or announcements the family made.
PS: Stop by St. Edwards Roman Catholic Church at 144 N County Rd, Palm Beach to see the plaque “President John F. Kennedy knelt here at Mass.” Its perhaps the only visible reminder of the Kennedy years in Palm Beach, FL.