1237 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Hey there, you found me! A good starting point is at the intersection of M Street and Wisconsin Avenue NW. Feel free to grab a coffee or a snack at the Capital One Café. From the café, walk one block up Wisconsin Ave. until you get to Prospect St.
1301 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Alrighty, let's get out of Georgetown's busy pedestrian and car traffic. Turn left onto Prospect St. by crossing Wisconsin Ave. Continue walking down Prospect St. until you arrive at the intersection with Potomac St.
3256 Prospect St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
3256 N St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Once again, I'd like to welcome you to Georgetown! Before we talk Kennedys, I figured I'd share some background information about the neighborhood for you. Located above the banks of the Potomac River in Northwest DC, Georgetown was founded in 1751, forty years before DC was established as the Nation’s Capital. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, it was a thriving shipping and commercial center for tobacco and heavy industry surrounded by water-powered textile and flour mill, foundries, warehouses, dockside wharves, a rope works, a paper factory, and the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal which carried coal, stone, and other freight. Surrounding you right now were once the elegant homes and mansions of wealthy landowners, shipbuilders, merchants, and land speculators. By the 1920s, Georgetown gained a reputation as one of the worst slums filled with dilapidated homes and a deteriorating waterfront. The trend began to reverse in the 1930s with President FDR’s New Deal program and reached an apex when JFK resided there beginning in 1946 until January 20, 1961 when he was inaugurated the 35th, youngest elected, and first Roman Catholic President of the United States at the age of 43. From those days on, Georgetown has turned into a fashionable enclave for Washington’s elite – media figures, celebrities, and politicos, members of Congress, cabinet secretaries, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and Supreme Court justices. The Kennedys’ lived in seven different homes in the neighborhood. Other sites you’ll get to see include the homes were Jackie lived after her husband’s death, the home where they first met, the homes of a few of their best friends, the church they worshipped in, and where John asked for Jackie’s hand in marriage. In addition, some of you may be intrigued as to the real estate of these homes. Therefore, I will also mention house descriptions and current estimated property values. Please note that all the houses on this tour are privately owned and are not open to the public. Now proceed westbound on N St. until you see 3260 on your left side.
3260 N St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
John Kennedy resided in this home from 1951-1953. While living here, he launched his first campaign for the US Senate which resulted in a stunning upset victory over longtime Republican incumbent Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Also another pivotal event happened while living here: meeting his future wife, Jacqueline Bouvier in May 1951 at a dinner party hosted by his friend Charles Bartlett. It would be another few months before they met again at another dinner party and this time, he asked her out. The house was built in 1819. It is 2,220 square feet with five bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. Its estimated value is placed between $1.39M - $1.65M. Continue on N St. for one block, cross 34th street until you see a brick home with green shutters and a green door on the right side.
3307 N St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
This was the Kennedys’ last and best-known Georgetown residence. JFK bought the home as a gift to Jackie following the birth of their daughter, Caroline in 1957. They moved in January 1958 and by that time JFK embarked on his presidential campaign. After winning the 1960 presidential election against Republican nominee, Senator Richard Nixon, Kennedy would meet the press corps on the front steps of the three-story townhouse, even in the middle of winter, as he issued announcements that filled out his cabinet positions. The Washington Post staff writer Thomas Wolfe in December 1960 complained, “Our next president doesn’t take the old, easy way of making his announcements about new cabinet ministers, the fate of the new frontier, etc. from his office on Capitol Hill – where if one need edit, the corridors have steam heat. He just steps right out of the old front porch at 3307 N St. NW and starts talking. And disappears right into the manse.” As journalists and reporters endured bone-chilling temperatures, snow, and winds, neighbors Helen Montgomery and her father Charles, then living across the street at 3302 N St. NW took sympathy on the shivering and freezing reporters. She opened her house as shelter and provided coffee, juice, saltines, and jellies. She even offered the use of her telephone and allowed them to set up additional lines so audiences around the world could tune into the updates leading up to the Inauguration. After the ceremony, the reporters paid for an honorary plaque which Kennedy personally presented to the family, thanking them for helping out the press reporters. The plaque is located on the side of 3302 above a Revolutionary War plaque which reads: “In the cold winter of 1960-1961, this house had an important role in history. From it was flashed to the world news of pre-inaugural announcements by President John F. Kennedy. Presented by the grateful newsmen who were given warm haven here by Miss Helen Montgomery and her father Charles Montgomery.” The house was built in 1811. It is 4,096 square feet with four bedrooms and 4 bathrooms with an estimated value between $3.4M - $4.04M. Continue walking down N St and I'll wait for you at the next intersection of N and 34th St.
3340 N St SE, Washington, DC 20020, USA
Before we cross 34th St., you may have noticed a row of five elegant Federal-style brick houses on your right side while walking down N St. Known as Cox's Row, it was built in 1805 by Col. John Cox, Georgetown's first mayor elected by popular vote - an office he held for 22 years. 3339 N St. was Cox's residence for a time, and in 1824 he entertained the Revolutionary War Hero General Marquis de Lafayette at 3337 N St. during his grand tour of the United States. You may continue going down N St until you reach 36th St.
1301 36th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
1315 36th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
You are now looking at the oldest continuously operating Roman Catholic Church in both Georgetown and all of Washington, DC. Formed in 1787, Holy Trinity Parish was founded by Archbishop John Carroll, the founder of Georgetown College (now University), the first Catholic bishop in America, and a cousin of Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The original chapel, completed in 1794 as Georgetown Chapel (now the chapel of St. Ignatius) was where the Kennedys’ regularly attended Mass, including on the morning of his Presidential Inauguration. He went to Mass there on November 1, 1963 which would mark his last Mass in DC before being fatally shot 21 days later. He is memorialized on a plaque outside the church entrance which bears the presidential seal and an image of PT-109, the patrol torpedo boat he commanded as a US Navy lieutenant during World War II in the South Pacific. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Navy and Marine Corps Medal for injuries sustained and for saving fellow crewmembers after the boat was rammed in half by a Japanese destroyer off the coast of the Solomon Islands in 1943. From here, continue up 36th St, then cross O St. and I'll see you at the corner.
3535 O St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
1400 34th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
This nearly 5,000 square-foot Federal Style mansion dating back to 1800 was occupied by JFK from 1949-1951, while he continued his service in the House of Representatives. As a junior member, he did not have much impact on legislation but continued pursuing his interests in foreign affairs, social welfare, and housing policy. His younger sister Eunice also lived with him until she became engaged to Robert Sargent Shriver. The two had met while Sargent worked for Eunice and John’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. in New York City. They were married in 1953. Shriver would go on to be an instrumental figure in his brother-in-law’s presidential campaign and subsequent administration. He directed the Talent Hunt committee to research and recommend appropriate candidates for top administrative and US ambassadorships after JFK’s election victory. In what would be considered his most significant and long-lasting accomplishment, he brought President Kennedy’s proposal for the Peace Corps to fruition in 1961 and served as the organization’s director until 1966, ushering a spirit of service to country and the cause of freedom by living and working in the developing world. While simultaneously directing the Peace Corps, he was the architect of 36th President Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty which led to the creation of programs like Head Start, the Job Corps, Volunteers in Service to America, the Community Action Program and Legal Service for the Poor. His public service career continued with being the US Ambassador to France from 1968 – 1970, followed by an unsuccessful run at the Vice Presidency in 1972 along Democrat presidential nominee George McGovern. As for Eunice, her most significant contribution to American and global society came in 1968 with the founding of the Special Olympics, the organization dedicated to empowering intellectually disabled children and adults by exploring their capabilities and potential through sport and athletics. At 4,659 square feet, the home has three bathrooms, two bathrooms, and two terraces – one on the roof and the other above the garage. Its current estimated value has been placed between $4.17M - $4.61M. From here, go up 34th St. for one block, then cross P St and I'll wait for you at the corner.
3401 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
3273 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
3271 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
As Senator, Kennedy lived in this squat house when he dated Jackie, including taking her to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Inaugural Ball in January 1953. Wedding plans were formulated and finalized after John proposed to her later that summer. The ever-so-fickle couple moved out after spending less than year here prior to their nuptials. Built in 1900, the home is 2,877 square feet with four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. Its value is estimated to be between $2.73M-$3.02M. To get to the next house, backtrack to 33rd St. Then make a right on 33rd St. and I'll see you shortly.
1509 33rd St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Wisconsin Ave NW + Q St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
1640 33rd St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
3321 Dent Pl NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
The handsome junior senator and the glamorous Georgetown University student spent the first six months of their marriage in this rented three-story townhouse in 1954 until John was forced to return to Boston. He needed surgery and extensive rehabilitation for back problems he suffered in World War II. Also, disagreements with the landlords reportedly drove the Kennedys’ away as well. Here, JFK learned how to paint and Jackie learned how to run a household, including how to cook John’s favorite dishes from housekeeper Mattie Penn. When health problems caused John’s weight to plummet from 175 to 150, he joked it was because of Jackie’s cooking. He began smoking Cuban cigars which Jackie joked offset the taste of her cooking. In May of that year, Orlando Suero, a 29 year old photographer employed by New York’s Three Lions Picture Agency on his first major assignment spent five days with the family documenting their “everyday” existence in more than 20 photo sessions. They included John working in his Senate office, reading at home; Jackie at Georgetown University, gardening, and listening to phonograph records; and both reading the newspapers at the breakfast table, hosting casual and formal parties, standing on their doorstep, and playing football with his brother Bobby, who also was living nearby with wife Ethel. Suero shot over 1000 negatives, many of which never made it to the public eye. In 1989, Three Lions owner Max Lowenherz donated all the photos to the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute where they remain to this day. In 2001, the Institute’s Anne Garside authored the book, Camelot at Dawn, featuring 100 carefully selected Suero photographs of the young couple’s time in the Dent Place home. The house was built in 1942. It is 2,384 square feet with four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Its value is placed somewhere between $1.69M - $1.93M OK, continue westbound on Dent Place until you reach the corner of Dent Place and 35th St.
3429 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Q St NW + 35th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Make a left on Q St. and the next house will be on your left side. You know you've arrived at the right place when you see a plaque with the Presidential Seal on its front façade.
3419 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
This modest house was the residence of longtime Kennedy friends Charles and Martha Bartlett. John and Charles met in Palm Beach, FL in 1946. Both came from wealthy Catholic families and had served in the Navy during World War II. Different paths eventually brought them to DC: Kennedy was elected to the House of Representatives, Bartlett became the bureau chief for the Chattanooga Time and would eventually win a Pulitzer Prize. Here on May 13, 1951 (Mothers’ Day), Charles and Martha hosted a dinner party for eight friends. What appeared to be casual on the surface was actually a matchmaking tactic conceived by JFK’s father, Joseph, Sr. He asked Charles to help get son John, then a second-term congressman, to abandon his bachelor ways and settle down with a wife. Among the guests was Jackie, then a recent graduate of George Washington University and a freelance photojournalist with the Washington Times-Herald. Over Rob Roys, Manhattans, chicken casserole, blueberry cobbler, and playing charades, John became extremely smitten with Jackie stating that “I’ve never met anyone like her.” He was attracted to her intelligence and beauty, her love of travel and culture, and the fact that she was Catholic and more importantly, a Democrat. However, the initial encounter didn’t go so well. After the dinner, he ran after the departing Jackie and asked if she wanted to have a drink with him. She declined unfortunately. When Bartlett shared his account of the event with the JFK Presidential Library in 1965, he revealed that the timing wasn’t right as she was going to Europe and he was going to hit the Senate campaign trail for most of the following year (1952) which he would win that fall. Plus, Jackie was already engaged to another man! Nevertheless, the Bartletts’ persisted and just over two years later, JFK and Jackie were engaged. They married on September 12, 1953 in Newport, R.I. where Charles served as an usher. Both became godparents to John F. Kennedy, Jr. after his birth in 1960. The 1,934 square foot house was built in 1895 and contains three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. It was bought in 2018 for $1.725M by Scott Stewart, a managing partner at a local senior living investment and development firm. As a history buff and Kennedy family aficionado, Stewart used to live in Brookline, MA, the President’s birthplace; attended Kennedy’s alma mater, Harvard University; and even owns another home at Martha’s Vineyard, a famed Kennedy hangout. He even decorated the interior with a 1950’s motif and has individual portraits of John and Jackie on his walls. Now head eastbound on Q St. passing Volta Park and its recreation center. I'll see you at the corner of Q St. and Wisconsin Ave.
Q St NW + Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Q St NW + Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Q St NW + Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
3136 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Good, you've caught up. Now you may be wondering what lurks behind the trees running along the left side of Q St. Although unrelated to the Kennedy Family, Tudor Place is another well-known historic site in the neighborhood. It was the home of Martha Custis Peter and her husband Thomas. Martha, the granddaughter of First Lady Martha Washington bought the land with a legacy of $8,000 from George Washington's will. From 1805-1983, the mansion and gardens served as home to six generations of the Peter Family. Today it contains the largest private collection of Washington family memorabilia outside of Mount Vernon. Keep walking Q St. until you reach the corner of Q and 31st St.
1528 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
1528 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Following his naval service in World War II, JFK had considered becoming a teacher or a writer, but the tragic death of his older brother, Joseph, Jr. shifted his future to politics. After serious discussions with his father, John ran for Congress in Massachusetts’ 11th Congressional District, where he won in 1946. He settled in and leased this Georgetown address, the very first of the seven he would inhabit, when he began his first term in the House of Representatives (1947-1949). The house, which had been built just four years before had ample room to accommodate not just the 29-year old rookie Congressman, but also his aide Billy Sutton and his sister, Eunice, who was working for the Department of Justice’s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency. Since he was wealthier compared to his colleagues and peers, he could afford a household staff. Longtime family housekeeper and cook Margaret Ambrose and an African-American valet-butler named George Thompson resided there as well. Despite the help, JFK’s living situation typified that of most twenty-something year old bachelors: a space organized for entertaining and pleasure while displaying tasteful consumption, coupled with a frat house atmosphere similar to the movie Animal House. A number of accounts described a disorderly living room, clothes draped over furniture, and remnants of unfinished meals on the bookshelf and mantelpiece. Kennedy siblings, movie stars, prep school and college buddies, neighbors, Senate and House colleagues like Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon, and juveniles from the National Training School for Boys frequently dropped in, socialized and/or dined at unpredictable intervals. The 1942 three-story brick row house has three bedrooms, five bathrooms, and is 2,646 square feet. Sold in 2017 for $2.475M, it has an estimated value in the range of $2.51M - $3.03M. From here, keep proceeding down 31st St., cross P St. and I'll wait for you at the corner of P and 31st Sts.
3100 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
3000 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
2808 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
After his election to the Senate and marriage to Jackie, JFK moved out from Georgetown and purchased Hickory Hill Estate in the suburb of McLean, VA. It was intended to be their permanent family home, but Jackie, who had designed a nursery for their first child could not tolerate the thought of living there after their daughter, who would have been named Arabella, was stillborn. JFK and Jackie sold Hickory Hill to his brother and sister-in-law Bobby and Ethel, which became their permanent home. The couple moved back to Georgetown and rented this P Street property in early 1957. The year that was spent here marked another significant period for the Kennedy scion. He began his campaign for a second Senate term while at the same time the Democratic Party began eyeing him as a possible presidential candidate. Also their first child, a daughter named Caroline Bouvier Kennedy, was born. And the book that he wrote while recovering from back surgery, Profiles in Courage, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography. Regarded as a highly recommended read on the virtue of courage, Profiles highlights eight Senators handpicked by Kennedy – John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, Sam Houston, Edmund G. Ross, Lucius Lamar, George Norris, and Robert A. Taft – who made decisions of conscience that were initially unpopular. The 2,292 square foot home was built in 1943 with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms with a value of between $1.73M - $2.03M. From here proceed to the corner of P and 28 Sts.
1425 28th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Before we keep moving, should you desire a break, Stachowski's Market directly across the street is an excellent spot offering an array of gargantuan sandwiches, locally sourced meats, cheeses, charcuterie, market fresh vegetables, prepared meals and more. Make a right on 28th St., walk down two blocks until you reach the corner of 28th and Dumbarton Sts.
2801 Dumbarton St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
From here, make a left crossing 28th St, and proceed down Dumbarton St. When you reach 2719 Dumbarton, look across the street for your next stop, 2720 Dumbarton.
2719 Dumbarton St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
The house across the street is famous twofold: the first for its “unhistorical” appearance on the outside and second, the history that occurred on the inside. When the modern cinderblock home was designed and built in 1949, local residents were appalled as it sharply deviated from the more traditional Federal, Georgian, and Victorian styles that dominate the neighborhood’s streets. In fact, it even went as far as to the point of outrage that it led to the passage of the Old Georgetown Act of 1950. The act designated the boundaries of the Old Georgetown District and strictly mandated that if residents considered making changes to a house’s exterior and surrounding property, they must undergo an architectural board of review for approval. This could include anything from a complete rebuild to installing new windows, balconies, doors, or even address numbers, and from façade work to terrace construction. For decades, it was the home of influential journalist, political columnist, and Kennedy confidant Joseph Alsop and the scene of countless legendary soirées, Sunday-night dinners, and conversations amongst the titans of Washington politics. His weekly syndicated column, “Matter of Fact” and other written contributions for the New York Herald Tribune, the Saturday Evening Post, and the Washington Post, as well his affiliation with a tight-knit crew of some more than 30 journalists, diplomats, policy makers, and CIA spies called the “Georgetown Set” helped direct the nation’s Cold War policies, as all were staunch anti-Communists. At any given time within the walls of the Alsop residence, over free flowing champagne, fine wines, stiff martinis, and turtle soup, one could be mingling with the likes of Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and owners Katherine and Phil Graham, CIA Director Allen Dulles, Ambassador Averell Harriman and Llewellyn Thompson, CIA operative Frank Wisner, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and of course the Kennedys’. Even well into his presidency, JFK especially liked coming back to Georgetown, to Alsop’s dinner parties. He came in part because of his craving to know what was going on: He loved gossip and current events. He regarded 2720 Dumbarton as a “safe house” where he could mingle freely and be assured that his words (and perhaps even a few deeds) would be kept confidential. After attending his five official Inaugural Balls, Kennedy, with Secret Service in tow, even surprised Alsop with a knock on the door in the wee hours of January 21, 1963, and joined his Georgetown buddies for an after-hours party until close to 4am. The six bedroom, seven bathroom, 5,155 square foot sold in 2019 for $5.125M. These days, its value is somewhere between $5.19M - $5.97M. As we continue to the next house, backtrack on Dumbarton heading westbound until you reach 29th St. Cross 29th St. and I'll see you shortly at the corner.
1327 30th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
1320 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Alrighty, make a right on 31st St. Go up a block until you reach O St. Make a right and you should see a lavender colored house on your right side. This is your next spot.
3044 O St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
The Queen-Anne style mansion was originally built in 1870 to be the home of Dr. Armistead Peter, a physician and descendant of Georgetown’s first mayor, Robert Peter. Armistead’s wife, Martha Custis Kennon was a great-great-granddaughter of former First Lady Martha Washington. Since that year, the home has only be owned five other times which have included a prominent Georgetown attorney, the founder of Washingtonian Magazine, and a vice-president of the World Bank. The nine bedroom, nine bathroom, 8,840 square foot abode was bought in 2013 for $8.6M with an estimated value of between $9.26M - $10.24M these days. When the Kennedys’ were in the White House, this was the residence of Jackie’s mother and stepfather, Janet Lee and Hugh D. Auchincloss from 1962 to 1979. Caroline and John, Jr. often came here to play and was the scene of parties for various dignitaries, including the May 1963 retirement party for Letitia Baldridge, the White House Social Secretary during JFK’s presidency (John and Jackie also attended). It was after the President’s assassination a few months later that Janet possessed the blood-spattered pink Chanel suit that Jackie wore in Dallas, boxed it up, and stored it in her attic, where it remained until she sent it to the National Archive with the attached note: “Jackie’s suit and bag – worn November 22, 1963.” Included with the suit was Jackie’s blue blouse she wore underneath, her stockings, shoes, and jewelry. Despite being stored in the National Archives, the suit remained the property of Jackie. After her death in 1994, ownership was passed on to daughter Caroline. In 2003, Caroline signed a deed of gift officially donating the suit to the United States of America with the condition that the suit will not go on public display for another century until the year 2103 and only after the family has given permission to do so. So much for not being able to see it during our lifetime. The suit has remained undisturbed in a custom built acid-free box in a climate-controlled vault. Now continue walking down O St. until you reach 30th St.
1327 30th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
1327 30th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
1327 30th St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
You are now viewing the very last Georgetown residence that the Kennedys’ lived in. In 1964, First Lady Jackie bought 3017 after her husband’s tragic death with the intent to make it her permanent home. She longed to live the quiet life raising her kids, strolling the streets, and visiting her favorite haunts. Unfortunately, she and her children would only live here for less than a year primarily due to security and privacy concerns. Constant scrutiny and harassment by photographers hoping to get sellable snapshots and tour buses parked outside the front door packed with tourists seeking to get a glimpse of the family forced her to move to Manhattan. Her decision shocked the DC social and political elites. The house itself has had a long history. Thomas Beall constructed this house as an investment in 1794. Some of the first residents were John Laird, a wealthy merchant, in 1796 followed by Maryland Congressman and War of 1812 hero George Peter. William Redin, the first auditor of the Circuit Court of DC bought it in the 1830s. It was used as the Georgetown Female Seminary in 1868, and was later converted back to a private residence. Before it was referred to as the Jacqueline Kennedy House, it was known as the Newton Baker House, for the Secretary of War from 1916 – 1920. He oversaw the mass mobilization of US forces and materials for the country’s entry into World War I. Baker and Kennedy helped enrich the home’s history, leading it to be declared a National Historical Landmark in 1976. After the death of the previous owner, former Miss America Yolande Fox in 2016, the six bedroom, five and a half bathroom, 6,258 square foot property was put on the market for $10M, only to be sold in 2017 for $5.25M with an estimated value between $6.06M - $7.32M Before we head over to the next place, look directly at the house across the street, 3014 N St. NW. Historically referred to as the Laird-Dunlop House, it was originally built in 1790 by tobacco merchant John Laird. From 1911-1937, it was the home of Robert Todd Lincoln – the eldest son of the 16th President – and his wife Mary Harlan. It was later purchased in 1981 by another “Georgetown Set” elite, the late journalist and Washington Post Chief Editor Ben Bradlee and his third wife, Sally Quinn. As a DC correspondent for Newsweek, Bradlee came to know then-Senator JFK when they were living a few houses apart on N Street in 1958 (John at 3307, Ben at 3321). He even covered JFK’s presidential campaign and remained close friends and off-the-record confidants until John’s death. Throughout the course of their friendship often with Kennedy’s knowledge and permission, Bradlee kept detailed notes of their intimate dialogues whether it was in the White House or a party at a friend’s house. These records were compiled into a book authored by Bradlee called Conversations with Kennedy which showcased the human side of JFK’s larger-than-life personality; from his relationships with his father and brothers to the women he admired, and from views on Communism to conservatism to freedom of the press. Continue down the right side of N St. It will literally take a couple of minutes to get to the next home.
3041 N St NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Across the street from where you are standing is 3038 N St. NW. Known historically as the Riggs-Riley House, this 1805 Federal-style home was named for its two earliest owners. The first was Romulus Riggs, a Georgetown merchant and banker who founded the Farmers and Mechanics’ Bank on Wisconsin Ave. and M St. (now a PNC Bank) and the second, a physician named Dr. Joshua Riley who practiced medicine in the neighborhood for 51 years. After the assassination, Jackie knew that she did not want to stay in the White House for long as she wanted to distance herself from memories of the happier times. Desiring to restart her life by returning to her beloved Georgetown neighborhood, Averell Harriman, the famous American diplomat, US Ambassador to Great Britain and the Soviet Union, and Kennedy presidential adviser offered Jackie and her children the use of 3038, a few blocks from their old house, to give her time to mourn and search for a more permanent residence. She accepted and stayed briefly for four months from December 6, 1963 until early 1964, where she enjoyed private visits from friends and family that included mother Janet, Bobby and Ethel Kennedy, and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. The nine bedroom, seven and half bathroom, 7,394 square foot home was last sold in 1997 for $1.7M. Today its value is placed somewhere between $6.91M - $7.64M. Proceed down N St until you arrive at the intersection with Wisconsin Ave. Across the avenue, you will see your final destination of the tour, a yellow building with the sign “Martin’s Tavern Est. 1933.”
1301 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
Since 1933, DC’s oldest family-owned restaurant has gained the reputation of an esteemed dining establishment for reasons that go beyond the food. Yes, the classic American fare and pub grub is hearty, but the real draw here is its history: Martin’s has served every US President from Harry Truman to George W. Bush on its tables and wooden booths with plaques marking their spots. Richard Nixon, while serving as a congressman, senator, and Vice President loved the meatloaf here and dined with colleagues and friends in Booth #2. Booth #24 marks where then-Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson frequently ate (and drank heavily) with House Speaker Sam Rayburn while discussing legislation. Then-Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman and wife Bess dined in Booth #6 with their daughter, Margaret, then a student at George Washington University. Margaret would go on to become a famed mystery novelist often including Martin’s in her DC settings. George W. and Laura Bush dined at Table #12 with their twin daughters, Jenna and Barbara. Also, Bill Clinton cited Martin’s as one of his favorite hangouts while a graduate student at Georgetown University. But it would be the Kennedy presence in Georgetown in which Martin’s attained their celebrity status. While still a bachelor member of Congress, John often sat solo in Booth #1 for Sunday breakfast with newspaper in hand after attending Mass at Holy Trinity. He was partial to the eggs benedict with ham or bacon and poached eggs on toast, marmalade, orange juice, milk, and coffee. As President-elect, it was observed that he drafted his inaugural speech in the “Rumble Seat,” as the booth was commonly nicknamed due to its resemblance to the hidden bench seats typically found in the trunks of roadster cars. Wouldn’t it have been incredible to watch him pen that inspirational quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”? The most important question a man would ever ask the woman he loves occurred in Booth #3. Now dubbed the “Proposal Booth,” it was where JFK proposed to Jackie on Wednesday June 24, 1953. Over the years, however, the location of this moment has been disputed. Some sources say the proposal took place at the Parker House Restaurant in Boston. Others state it was done by telegram, when Jackie was on assignment for the Washington Times-Herald in London covering Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Even a June 28, 1953 article in the Boston Sunday Globe reported John popping the question the week before at the Bouvier homestead in Newport, R.I. All that would change in 2017 when Ambassador Martin “Joe” Smoak, former Chief of Protocol for President Nixon, substantiated the claim that Martin’s was the spot (the restaurant even awarded the man with a plaque commemorating the event). Before his death at the age of 103, he was believed to be the oldest living eyewitness to the proposal. As an Army officer stationed at the Pentagon, he was having a martini at the bar when the young Senator asked her for her hand in marriage. News quickly spread throughout the restaurant. Smoak admitted that “it was great fun to witness a part of history.” Since this momentous occasion, many other couples have followed suit and left engaged after sitting in the very same booth. If you can, go inside and experience the ambiance that has encompassed a lot of history, a lot of presidents, and a lot of Georgetown itself. And this brings us to the end of our Kennedys’ in Georgetown Tour. I hope you enjoyed learning about this storied American couple and the charming neighborhood they called home while in DC. Once again, my name is Christian Mirasol. I appreciate you coming along with me and I look forward to exploring more of the DC area with you again. Cheers!