Sometime after the winter of 1962, Jackie Kennedy began to draw up plans for a house she and John Kennedy would eventually build 5 miles west of Middleburg.
The home, finished in 1963, is now up for sale for more than $11 million. John Kennedy ultimately only spent two weeks in the house before he was assassinated.
In her initial drawings, Jackie Kennedy had planned to have 15 bedrooms spread across a one-floor ranch-style home.
The Wexford property is a sprawling estate, sitting on an 167-acre plot of land, overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are four bedrooms, four bathrooms and a three-car garage.
The house originally contained a bomb shelter, a trap door in the bedroom in case of invasions and a huge kitchen with multiple stoves and sinks.
There has been a great deal of interest in the property from the media and other Realtors according to Patricia Burns, the current listing agent for the property. However, not everyone interested in the property is allowed to tour it.
“We have very strict requirements as to whom we can show the property to. They must sign a confidentiality agreement and provide proof of funds to buy the place at list price,” said Burns.
The word-of-mouth, however, hasn’t been as strong in the nearest town of Middleburg.
“A lot of people don’t even really know it’s there,” said Middleburg Mayor Betsy Davis. “It’s a pretty quiet thing.”
This seems to go hand-in-hand with the desires of Jackie Kennedy who is quoted in “The Kennedy White House: Family Life and Pictures, 1961-1963” as saying, “I don’t want it [Wexford] to be exploited and photographed all over the place just because it was ours.”
Solitude was important to Jackie Kennedy, and she also recognized what the house meant for the family.
“It’s the only house Jack and I ever built together, and I designed it all myself,” she’s quoted as saying in “The Kennedy White House: Family Life and Pictures, 1961-1963.”
After the house was built, Jackie Kennedy made $10,000 worth of renovations, and a special communication room was installed to allow President John Kennedy to quickly speak with Washington.
Jackie Kennedy named the residence after the county in Ireland where the Kennedy family had roots.
The property was sold months after John Kennedy was assassinated to a Mr. and Mrs. Q.N. Yng-Wong, according to an article at the time written for The Washington Post News Service.
The Wongs promptly renamed it after a Chinese county, but the name Wexford had already stuck. Most of the signage still says Wexford.
Years later in 1980, President Reagan rented the house from a Nixon cabinet member to prepare for his debate against Jimmy Carter.
Because of the historical significance, Burns believes the house is worth the $11 million price point.
“This is probably the most important piece of real estate that has ever been on the market due to its historic significance. It was designed and built by President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, and the only one ever built by a sitting president,” Burns said.
Burns said buyers can apply for a tax credit by putting the property in conservation easement and/or on the National Historic Registry.
The 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination is Nov. 22. It’s possible that a renewed interest in his life could raise the value of the property.
The video below is described by the Kennedy Library as “Silent motion picture containing footage of President John F. Kennedy, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr. at their home in Atoka, Va.”
Source: White House/Cecil Stoughton.”
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