New Season, New Color
Contact: Jim Roberts, 617-566-7937
John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site, located at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts, reopens to visitors for the summer season on Wednesday, May 22. Visitor hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm. Ranger-guided house tours are offered from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM, with the final tour beginning at 3:30 PM. From 12:00-1:00 PM and 4:00 to 5:00 PM, visitors are welcome to follow a self-guided tour through the first and second floors of the house. Hand-held audio-players are available so that visitors may follow Mrs. Kennedy's tour in English, French, German, Spanish, and Japanese. Admission is free.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 marks the 44th anniversary of John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site's official dedication as a National Park Service site on May 29, 1969. This year also marks the 96th anniversary of the birth of the country's 35th president. To commemorate these two anniversaries, the site will hold a special open house featuring music and refreshments on Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26 during visitor hours from 12:00 to 4:00 PM.
In 1969, the National Park Service (NPS) took ownership of the 2 ½ story wood-frame house at 83 Beals Street. This home was the gift of Mrs. Rose Kennedy to the people of the United States to memorialize the birthplace of her son, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States. When the house needed repainting in 2012, after careful research and consideration, the National Park Service decided to repaint the house in the colors Mrs. Kennedy chose for its exterior in 1967: soft gray with ivory trim. Now, the interior and the exterior of the house reflect the choices made by Mrs. Kennedy when she refurbished the house and gave it to the American people.
During the summer visitor season, National Park Service rangers provide tours of the nine-room house museum where Kennedy family furnishings, photographs, and significant mementos personally collected and arranged by the president's mother are on exhibit. A taped narrative, featuring Mrs. Kennedy in her own words, is a unique and evocative addition to both the ranger-led and self-guided tours.
Visitors may also step back in time to 1917 and share Mrs. Rose Kennedy's memories of her family's early home via cell phone. The cell phone tour is free. Normal usage rates apply.
To access the tour, dial 617-992-9172. The tour can also be via the web at http://myoncell.mobi/16179929172.
A small visitor center in the house basement offers exhibits, a film, a bookstore, and a restroom. A self-guided tour of the neighborhood is also included in the site brochure and gives visitors the opportunity to see other nearby sites associated with the Kennedy family, including a second home in Brookline, the location of the family's Catholic church, the Edward Devotion School which John F. Kennedy attended, and the Coolidge Corner shopping district. Ranger-led neighborhood tours are also offered during the summer months. For more information, click here or call 617-566-7937.
Did You Know?
Like many middle-class families in Brookline, the Kennedy’s relied upon the many contributions of live-in domestic help. Mary O’Donaghue and Alice Michelan, two first-generation Americans, cooked, cleaned and cared for the children, enabling the family to live their version of the American dream.