Even though she was the first lady for less than three years, Jackie Bouvier Kennedy is one of the most famous of the presidents’ wives. After spending her early years in the New York area where her father, John “Black Jack” Bouvier, was a stockbroker, Jackie’s mother, Janet, divorced John in 1940 and two years later married Standard Oil heir Hugh Auchincloss. The marriage precipitated a move to his home in McLean, Virginia when Jackie was 13. The divorce had been hard on Jackie and it seemed to make her withdraw into herself. After moving to McLean, she found solace in the home’s location with its panoramic views over the Potomac River and the lushly landscaped seven acres she enjoyed exploring.
The 23,000-square-foot, four-level, brick-and-limestone mansion with its nine bedrooms and 13 baths was built in the classic Georgian style. 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. Grounds include a tennis court, indoor swimming pool with separate gym and changing rooms and an outdoor swimming pool.
Jackie slowly started to blossom at Merrywood and attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. After college, she went to work for the Washington Times Herald as a roving reporter. In 1952, she met Congressman John F. Kennedy and they were married in 1953 after he had been elected as United States senator from Massachusetts. Living at Merrywood was the catalyst that put Jackie Kennedy in the right place at the right time to eventually become the 35th first lady of the United States. Co-listing agents are Mark Lowham of TTR Sotheby's International Realty and Juliana E. May of Jones Lang LaSalle.
Historic Merrywood estate, home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis during her teen years, is listed for sale asking $49.5 million.
Photographer: Gordon Beall
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