by Moses Y. Bension
President Kennedy occupied several homes in Georgetown as a congressman, senator, and presidential candidate. He moved frequently over the course of his legislative tenure, taking his naval souvenirs and family mementos with him. From his election to Congress in 1946 until his move to the White House in 1961, President Kennedy lived in seven Georgetown row homes and mansions. Although now private residences, they can still be seen on a walking tour of the quiet streets of Georgetown.
At age 29, after having been elected to the House by Massachusetts’ now-retired 11th Congressional District, Jack moved into this 2600 square foot apartment at 1528 31st Street NW in 1946. He would live here for three years until moving in with his sister Eunice five blocks away.
Jack and Eunice entertained regularly at their 1400 34th Street apartment until she became engaged to Sargent Shriver. This Georgian-style mansion was built around the turn of the century, and he lived here from 1949 to 1951.
Defeating Senator Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. for his seat by a margin of 70,000 votes in 1952, Jack rented this five-bedroom 1819 apartment at 3260 N Street NW for two years. Washington journalist Charles L. Bartlett introduced him to Jackie at a dinner party at Bartlett’s house while Jack was living here.
3271 P Street NW was a relatively modest four-bedroom home for the junior Senator from Massachusetts. In January of 1953, shortly after moving in, he took Jackie to President Eisenhower’s inaugural ball. He was living here when he proposed to her.
3321 Dent Place NW, known affectionately as The Red House, was the first home for the newlywed couple. Senator and Mrs. Kennedy rented this attached four-bedroom town-home for five months until October of 1954 when Jack was admitted to the hospital for a risky spinal operation. The procedure meant to cure his wartime back injury, but Jack lapsed into a coma, and last rites were administered.
A recuperating Senator John F. Kennedy lived in this modest row home at 2808 P Street NW in 1957. It was the year that Jack’s Profiles in Courage won the Pulitzer and solidified his reputation as a deep political thinker.
Senator Kennedy found himself at 3307 N Street NW with Jackie just before Caroline was born. The Kennedys campaigned for Jack’s presidency from this 1811 three-story four-bedroom Federal mansion. It was up the street from Jack’s residence when he had first met Jackie. It would be his last residence before the White House.