Billionaire Jane Goldman Reported To Have Sold Former Kennedy Palm Beach Compound For A Cool $70 Million
The storied seaside Palm Beach estate that big daddy Joseph P. Kennedy bought in 1933 has had, including the Kennedys, three owners since President John F. Kennedy made it the Winter White House in 1960, the next most recent being New York real estate billionaire Jane Goldman, who has, according to public records, just sold it in a remarkable off-market deal, reported to have been for $70 million. The new owner, reportedly a trust represented by a Palm Beach lawyer, will have received a hefty chunk of American history along with the 15,347 square feet of living space that the 11-bedroom, 12-bath main house and its outbuildings provide.
Situated firmly at the epicenter of South Florida’s gold coast at 1095 Ocean Drive in Palm Beach, the house has 200 feet of beachfront beyond its sea wall, a tennis court and a swimming pool, of course, and a roster of 20th-century guests that, frankly, boggle the mind. Above, the early-1960s defense chiefs at planning session with then-Vice-President Lyndon Johnson and, far right, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. They would certainly have discussed the, in their view, necessity for increasing the involvement of the US military in Southeast Asia.
But beyond the government luminaries, the old Ocean Drive place was where JFK and his siblings had been vacationing since their father bought it in 1933. It was where JFK recovered, as a senator, from back surgery, where, as president-elect, took respite after his election, where he composed his famous inaugural speech, where he wrote much of his Pulitzer Prize-winning Profiles In Courage, and it was the house to which he and Jacqueline Kennedy often took the family for holidays, as at Easter in 1963, pictured below. In November 1963, it was from Palm Beach that President and Mrs. Kennedy flew to Dallas, Texas, where the president was assassinated as he was driven in the Texans’ welcoming motorcade.
Mrs. Goldman, a principal of New York’s Solil Management, has had what is being termed as “stewardship” of 1095 North Ocean Drive since 2015, when it was being marketed by the owner who had bought it from the Kennedy estate, John Castle, for $31 million. For his part, Mr. Castle made a tidy profit on that 2015 sale, having bought it in aristocratically run-down shape from the Kennedy family in 1995 for $4.9 million, an improvement of some 600% on his purchase price. Mrs. Goldman restored it in 2017. In other words, the Kennedy family sold what it felt was an old and rather run-down house. But the value of the acre of land on which it sits, as well as its old-school 1920s capaciousness, has in the last 25 years driven the street value of the old place into the stratosphere.
Designed by society architect Addison Minzer and built in the 1920s for department-store heir Rodman Wanamaker, JFK’s father Joseph Patrick Kennedy bought it in 1933, in the teeth of the Depression, for a reported $110,000. The house’s name was La Guerida, which apparently translates loosely, and ominously, as “The Spoils of War.” Unknown is whether Wanamaker, or Kennedy, gave it the sobriquet. In a larger sense, though, the house has seen a lot of Kennedy family life since the early 1930s, when dynasty founder Joseph Patrick Kennedy bought it. The press certainly followed the stellar clan to Palm Beach, especially after JFK made it the Winter White House, but in some old-school way it was where this most illuminated and closely-tracked family could be, for a moment anyway, offstage.