The Homes Of Jackie O
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ life with the president is often compared to the legendary court and castle, Camelot. But she’s also tied to some spectacular real-life homes—some of which could be considered castles, of sorts—where she rode through the hills on horseback, met the man she would marry, and then started anew.
She might be most famous for her efforts at the White House, which she meticulously redecorated during her three years living there, tracking down furniture and other items that belonged to presidents past. Being there was “the happiest time I’ve ever known,” she wrote a friend in mid-1962, according to Sally Bedell Smith’s 2004 book about the Kennedys, Grace and Power.
While the White House might be Onassis’ most famous residence, there are a number of other properties in and around Washington, D.C.—along with the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Fort, Massachusetts, and her longtime Fifth Avenue abode in New York—that have ties to the iconic first lady, who died in 1994.
Merrywood, a classic Georgian mansion in McLean, Virginia, is one of those homes. In the 1940s, when she was a Bouvier, a young Jackie moved there after her mother married Standard Oil heir Hugh D. Auchincloss.
The property, situated on the Potomac River, was 40 acres then, with plenty of room for stables. Jackie kept her horses on the estate, says Mark Lowham of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented America Online co-founder Steve Case and his wife, Jean, in selling the property earlier this year. At $43 million, the May sale was the largest ever in the Washington area, Lowham says.
Now sitting on seven acres, the nine-bedroom home is “still a very private residence,” Lowham says. Its classic Georgian symmetry strikes visitors as soon as they come up its long driveway, he says. And although the home has been expanded, it retains the same sense of style.
Jackie also grew up going to East Hampton, Long Island—she was actually born in Southampton. Lasata, the estate owned by her grandfather, was sold at the beginning of the year for $24 million, according to public records. The 10-bedroom, 12-bathroom home has ample grounds and a pool.
In the Washington area, another home with connections to the Kennedys was sold this year: The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom townhouse on Q Street, where the couple first met, sold in March for $1.725 million, according to listing broker Michael Brennan Jr., also of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.
The couple met at a cocktail party at the home in 1951, he says. it was a set-up, he explains, and the young Jack and Jackie got to know each other by the fireplace over drinks. They were married two years later.
In her post-White House years, Jackie lived in New York, on Fifth Avenue and East 85th Street. The five-bedroom, fiveand- a-half bathroom apartment took up the entire 15th floor, and Jackie had a corner bedroom overlooking Central Park. The redecorated that home, too, and lived there for the next 30 years.
In 1995, after her death, the home was sold to billionaire David Koch, records show. Later, in 2006, hedge fund manager Glenn Dubin bought it for $30 million, setting a record for the priciest apartment sold in the building at that time.