Jacqueline Kennedy was rich and connected even before she met husband and future president John F. Kennedy, and now a piece of Camelot is for sale. Her childhood home, Merrywood, in the Washington suburbs has just hit the market for $49.5 million.
And, what a childhood it was.
Jackie, nee Bouvier, was the daughter of John “Black Jack” Bouvier, a swash-buckling Roaring ’20s stockbroker. His drinking and philandering were legendary.
In contrast, the estate, known as Merrywood, was serenely bucolic and fit for a Gatsby.
Jackie moved there when she was 13, after her mother Janet Bouvier, divorced in 1940 and married Hugh Auchincloss, an heir to the Standard Oil fortune, two years later.
The divorce had been hard on Jackie and it left her withdrawn.
After moving to Merrywood, however, she found solace in the home’s panoramic views of the Potomac River and lushly landscaped gardens.
While living there, she attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and graduated in 1951. She took a job as a photojournalist and met then Congressman John F. Kennedy a year later.
They rest, they say, is history.
The Georgian-style mansion was built in 1919. In all, the brick-and-limestone house encompasses 23,000 square feet on four levels, with nine bedrooms and 13 baths.
Although it’s been extensively renovated over the years, the original architectural details, including ornate plaster moldings and rich woodwork, have been meticulously preserved.
The estate’s history is as rich as the house itself. Washington’s power brokers, Hollywood celebrities and entertainers, including Michael Jackson were frequent visitors, according to a history of the property.
Auchincloss’ sold Merrywood after hitting a rough financial patch and the estate changed ownership four more times before current owner, America Online co-founder Steve Case, bought it.
He’s listing the property now for $49.5 million, making it Washington’s most expensive piece of residential real estate. For those counting, that works out to about $2,300 a square foot.
The mansion opens to a formal entrance hall, with grand public rooms and more intimate family rooms on the first floor.
The family living quarters on the second floor has four bedrooms, a private study and an exercise room. Four more bedrooms are on the third floor.
The basement has a climate-controlled wine room and an elevator links all four floors.
Outside are terraces for dining and entertaining with full outdoor kitchen along with various long established vegetation-enclosed garden rooms along with a terrace overlooking the river.
The grounds also include a tennis court, indoor swimming pool with separate gym and changing rooms and an outdoor swimming pool.
The property is co-listed by Juliana May, JLL and Mark Lowham, TTR Sotheby’s.
Check out the video below.