Life in Bronxville

Camelot in Bronxville

MK O'Shaughnessy

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I, like many Americans, have a fascination with the Kennedy Family. I was not yet born on this day in 1952 when the President was assassinated but I still love to read about his presidency and family. I love looking at the photos from his time in the White House, their family in Hyannis, Jackie -- during and post the Kennedy presidential years, and the wedding of John & Caroline. I know that I romanticize the time in history where it seems that the American Dream was obtained by this Irish Catholic immigrant family all while looking like they were movie stars. Their style was so classic & iconic that it has been the inspiration for so many designers, from Chanel to Lilly Pulitzer to Jonathan Adler.

I have always associated the Kennedy's with the Boston area. Obviously Massachusetts was a huge part of their life but what I didn't know until moving to Bronxville, was that they also lived here. In 1928, Joe & Rose Kennedy purchased 294 Pondfield Road. The beautiful Georgia style home was set on a 5.5 acre hillside estate.  Jack was just 11 and Edward had yet to be born. According to a book titled Robert Kennedy: Brother, Protector, by James W. Hilty, "Patricia Kennedy remembered the years in Bronxville as 'very, very happy times particularly on weekends and holidays when Joe junior and John returned from school usually with houseguests''. The Kennedys were in Bronxville until 1942. Some of the children attended Bronxville Elementary while the older children attended private and boarding schools. According to the book , Building a Suburban Village Bronxville, New York, 1989-1998, The house was a gathering place for the children in the neighborhood where they played touch football and skied down the yard. Eventually the house was torn down and the lots were sold off. You can now find that homes that replaced the mansion on Crampton Road and Crown Circle.

The Kennedy ties to Bronxville didn't end there. In 1958, Ted Kennedy married his first wife, Joan Bennett  at St. Joseph's Church. The reception was at the Siwanoy Country Club.