Property sale: Jackie Kennedy Onassis's 340-acre estate on Martha’s Vineyard is listed for $65 Million(58 million euro)
The décor at Red Gate Farm seemed nothing if not cozy and comfortable…But the prevailing air of casualness and happenstance was deceptive,"
Caroline Kennedy, daughter of Jackie Bouvier Kennedy Onassis is selling Red Gate Farm, a 340 acre compound on Martha Vineyards purchased by her mother in the late 1970s for $1 million, a property with over a mile of Atlantic Ocean beachfront near the clay cliffs of Gay Head.
The listing price is $65 million. If it sells for close to its asking price, the deal would mark a record for a single-family estate on Martha’s Vineyard. The current record, $32.5 million, was set in January by the sale of an estate once owned by the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham.
When she was first lady in the early 1960s, Jackie Kennedy and her husband liked to spend their summer in Hyannis on Cape Cod, known as "Kennedy compound," the summer White House of President John F. Kennedy, Ms. Onassis’s first husband. After assasination of John F. Kennedy and her marriage to Aristote Onassis, she continue summering there. Then her children John Kennedy and Carolyn Kennedy grew up and she needed a place of her own to read books and be connected to nature, so in 1978, she purchased the Red Gate Farm, a ferry ride away from Hyannis.
Jackie O engaged architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen to design the main house and a two-story guesthouse, which were completed in 1981, and her friend Rachel "Bunny" Mellon has designed the landscapes.
Barbara Leaming, the writer of the book Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story commented that Ms. Onassis was very particular about the renovation. "She wrote out her copious instructions to staff on index cards, such as the one affixed to a kitchen cabinet interior, which specified exactly which flowers were to be placed in which vessels in which areas of the house," she wrote.
Carolyn Kennedy said her mother "loved the old stone walls, the blue heron that lived in the pond behind the dunes, the hunting cabin that was the only thing on the property when she acquired it, the clay cliffs, the Wampanoag legends, water skiing and setting lobster pots in Menemsha Pond and building a fairy treehouse for her grandchildren."
A few years after the death of her mother, Carolyn Kennedy and her husband Edwin Schlossberg spent a few million dollars to renovate the place, with the help of Deborah Berke, dean of the Yale School of Architecture.
The newly refurbished property comprises a 6,456-square-foot house as well as a guesthouse. The main house includes a formal sitting room with a fireplace, a drawing room, living and family rooms, a library, a dining room and a large kitchen. There are also two outdoor decks, a den and two offices that could also be used as art studios. All rooms except the dining room overlook the ocean. The guesthouse has an additional four bedrooms.
Ms. Kennedy said she is selling because her three children have grown up and it is time for the family to "spread its wings." "Martha’s Vineyard will always be a part of our lives, but it is time for us to follow my mother’s example and create our own worlds," she said. "We hope that another family will treasure this place as we have for three generations."
The property is listed with Christie’s International Real Estate.