Over 400 pieces that archive the construction and design of the presidential Kennedy family's Wexford House will soon be up for sale at a live auction on February 19 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts that will be hosted by Boston-based auction company RR Auction. Bidding begins February 12-18.
The vast collection consists of three large binders and two large folders that contain oversized building plans, paperwork, photographs, magazine tearouts with Jackie's written design notes, and handwritten correspondence that covers almost all the construction and design aspects of the Wexford House -- including 10 letters that Jackie penned herself. The collection spans from 1961-64 with emphasis on 1963, the main year of construction.
The story behind the Wexford House reads like a saccharine yet bittersweet tale of the elusive American Dream. Named by Jackie as a nod to JFK's Irish roots, the Wexford House was constructed from late 1962 and completed in the summer of 1963 near Middleburg/Atoka, Virginia during JFK's presidency. Although the first lady and her husband agreed to build the house for $40,000, the final cost went up to $100,000. Footage of the completed interior and exterior from May 25, 1963 can be viewed here.
As if Wexford were an emblem of Jackie's intentions to strengthen her bonds with her husband, she worked tediously with the building agents -- a Middleburg couple who were close friends with the Kennedys -- to design from the ground up the perfect dream retreat for her husband and their family. “Wexford was the Kennedy’s first real home as a complete family unit, fashioned in light of Jackie’s ideals and built from the ground up,” said RR Auction Executive VP Bobby Livingston, in a statement.
A reluctant Jack Kennedy eventually warmed up to living in Wexford, but only spent a few weekends there before his assassination on November 22, 1963. White House photographer Cecil Stoughton captured candid footage of Jack's final stay at Wexford on November 10, 1963.