What JFK And Jackie Kennedy's First Home Was Really Like

John F. Kennedy first met Jackie Bouvier in 1952. Just one year later, they were engaged to be married. They quickly became a popular couple and even appeared on the cover of Life magazine shortly after their engagement. The pair tied the knot Sept. 12, 1953.

Before they moved into the White House, Jackie and John F. lived in several other properties in Washington, D.C. while JFK was still a senator. Their first home as a couple was 3321 Dent Place NW in the Georgetown area of the city. The couple rented the four-story property from December 1953 until June 1954. Though their stay at Dent Place was only six months long, it remains a big part of their history. In fact, their time there was immortalized when photographer Orlando Suero published "Camelot at Dawn," a book of photos of them spending time in their first home as newlyweds.

In 2023, the home was placed on the market for $2 million. Having been owned by the same family for decades, it was the first time the property had been on the market since it was built in the 1940s. According to the listing, the owner has accepted an offer as of April 2023 and the house will soon have a new occupant. Curious to have an inside peek at the home where JFK and Jackie Kennedy spent their first months as a married couple? We've got you covered.

Jackie and JFK lived at 3321 Dent Place after moving out of JFK's parents' house

John F. Kennedy and his new wife, Jackie, signed a six-month lease for the fully furnished 3321 Dent Place NW property in December 1953, three months after their beautiful society wedding in Rhode Island. According to the original lease document, the couple rented the home from owner Blair Childs. The pair moved into the home in January 1954 and stayed until the end of their lease on June 14, 1954.

According to some rumors, the pair had initially decided to rent the property because after their wedding, Jackie had been living with JFK's parents, often alone, as he was away for work on weekdays. Apparently, this arrangement soon became difficult for Jackie, who wanted her own space with her husband. As JFK was succeeding as a senator, renting a property became feasible. The couple paid $395 a month for the property, which, when adjusted for inflation, is around $4,432 in 2023.

Jackie and JFK's time at the home was captured in Camelot at Dawn

While John F. and Jackie Kennedy weren't at 3321 Dent Place for long, their time there has gone down in history thanks to the photographs captured by Orlando Suero in "Camelot at Dawn." This collection of photos captures the everyday life of the couple in May 1954. Many of these photos featured the couple spending time together at Dent Place. Suero captured the couple painting in the garden, listening to music, and having friends over for dinner. Suero also captured photos of Jackie learning cooking techniques and other skills from her housekeeper, Mattie Penn.

The couple was thrilled with the photos. "We are so happy ... They are the only pictures I've ever seen of me where I don't look like something out of a horror movie," Jackie wrote to Suero in a letter. "If I'd realized what a wonderful photographer you were ... I never would have been the jittery subject I was. Poor Orlando! Remember I wouldn't even eat a Good Humor. I was so lens-shy." The photos are now regarded as evidence of the couple's carefree life before their fame grew.

The redbrick townhouse was built in 1942 in Georgetown

John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy's first home at 3321 Dent Place NW was originally built in 1942. Dent Place was reportedly named after Edward Linthicum Dent, who once founded an ironworks in Georgetown. The property lies in the heart of Georgetown. As Urban Turf notes, the short road is filled with homes from various times, ranging from the Victorian era to the present day. Georgetown is a historic part of the city that dates back to the 1800s.

As the property listing explains, 3321 Dent Place is built in the classic Georgetown townhouse style with a redbrick facade. The four-story building features classic double-paned windows. The front has a small garden that separates the house from the road. It also features a small patio, balcony at the rear, and detached garage with room for one car. The home has been owned by the same family since 1942, according to the realtor.

The home has an open, airy ground-floor living space

According to the floor plan of 3321 Dent Place, the home features not one but two large main living spaces. On the ground floor, there is a large combined living and dining room. It opens onto the terrace and lawn, making the property ideal for hosting company — the kitchen and entrance are at the front of the house, with a continuous path through to the living and dining room and outside. On the second floor is the family room with an attached balcony overlooking the garden.

This space features a fireplace, built-in bookshelves, and decorative molding. These open spaces look out onto the long garden and are filled with natural light thanks to the giant windows spanning the entire back wall. Both spaces feature the original "wide-board Canadian oak floors." The staircase opens straight into both living spaces, giving the home an open, airy feel. Just off the first-floor living space is a cozy office area. The would-be president likely spent some time working there!

The home has a narrow kitchen

As the floor plan shows, the kitchen at 3321 Dent Place is on the main level at the front of the home and is one of the smallest rooms in the house at just 8 by 22 feet. While it may not be very fancy, it's well-equipped and carefully designed. It features a white stove, gold-tapped sink, white dishwasher, and white microwave. The Kennedys might not have enjoyed all those amenities, however — the dishwasher wasn't common in American households until the end of the 1970s, and home microwaves didn't become popular until 1967. 

The cabinetry in the Dent Place kitchen is less likely to have changed much; it's made of a medium wood with gold hardware, and the countertops are a green and black marble pattern. The room has wooden framed overhead lights that appear to match the cabinetry design. The floor plan also shows that the kitchen features a small wet bar where residents and guests can make their own drinks. The back of the kitchen opens onto the main floor dining room and living room. While this white kitchen may be a little dated, it's fascinating to see the room looking much like it might have done while John F. and Jackie Kennedy were residents.

There are four bedrooms and four bathrooms in the property

The Dent Place home has four bedrooms — one on the first floor, two on the second floor, and one in the basement. The primary bedroom, on the second floor, is 12 by 17 feet and features four closets and an attached bathroom. Across the hall, the second bedroom has two closet spaces and another en suite bathroom. On the first floor, a third bedroom features a walk-in closet and, again, its own bathroom. The bedroom in the basement comes with a nearby bathroom across the hall. According to the current property listing, the bedrooms have been decorated in a modern, minimalist style, with pale, neutral walls, white ceilings, neutral bedding, and neutral rugs. All of them feature original hardwood floors.

As for the home's bathrooms, three of them feature their own bathtubs — one has a standing shower instead. Each bathroom features original tiling and wooden cabinetry.

It's easy to see how JFK and Jackie Kennedy would have been very comfortable in the master bedroom — plus, with three other double rooms in the house, they could have easily invited guests to stay.

The home has a cozy multilevel English garden

One of the most stunning features of the Dent Place property is the home's 55-foot garden, which stretches from the back of the home to a detached garage. The beautiful walled garden features several levels and a long brick patio, perfect for outdoor furniture. At the back, two fruit trees obscure the garage door. "The English garden style backyard, complete with profusions of purple bearded iris and white peonies, leads down an all-brick walkway to a fully-detached garage," reads the listing.

John F. and Jackie Kennedy reportedly loved spending time in the garden. Orlando Suero's "Camelot at Dawn" also features images of the pair in the space, including some close-up portraits of Jackie and some candid shots of JFK trying his hand at oil painting outdoors. According to the book, the couple hired a gardener, but Jackie did some gardening too and even grew her own roses.

The back facade features a classic double staircase and two entranceways

At the back of the house, overlooking the garden is the home's famous "wall of windows." The back facade features three huge windows, which let loads of natural light into the home. "One of the more notable features is this beautiful wall of windows that looks directly over this deep garden here in Georgetown," said realtor Michael Brennan in a YouTube tour of the property.

The back of the house also has a striking double staircase leading to a small second-floor balcony that overlooks the garden below. According to "Camelot at Dawn," there is one famous shot of the would-be president and his wife standing on this balcony, chatting with a friend in the garden. 

Looking at the back of the home and its beautiful wall of windows, we can definitely see why the newlyweds were drawn to this unique, stately townhouse in Georgetown.

The home has been modernized but is filled with period details

In addition to the spacious living areas, the famous wall of windows, the multiple double bedrooms, and the large, flower-filled garden, 3321 Dent Place NW also has a few subtler features to its name. "There are countless period details remaining here in the house," said realtor Michael Brennan Jr in a video tour. "The original hardwood floors, the crown moldings, you've got this wood-burning fireplace, original wall sconces right here, and even some original paint," he said, revealing a hidden cabinet that still retained faded green paint.

These are some of the small features that JFK and Jackie Kennedy might have admired when they first chose this house back in 1953. It's wonderful to see that despite decades passing since the would-be president and first lady's residency there, the new homeowners chose to keep the property's period charm intact and visible while still modernizing other aspects of the home.

The home went on the market in 2023 for $2 million

John F. and Jackie Kennedy's very first home as a couple appears to have brand new owners. The home of the former senator, 3321 Dent Place NW, was placed on the market in 2023 for the first time since it was built in 1942. Broker Michael Brennan at Compass handled the sale, asking for a selling price of $2 million. At the time, Brennan expressed his happiness at being involved in the historic sale in a video tour. "Our team is thrilled to bring this extraordinary new listing to market," said the broker.

As of April 2023, a sale seems to have gone through, as the listing reads, "The seller has accepted an offer, and this property is now pending or under contract." While we don't know who bought JFK and Jackie Kennedy's first home, we're sure they're thrilled to be living in such a historic Georgetown home.