Eavesdrop on any Georgetown walking tour and you’ll invariably hear a mention of the neighborhood’s most famous residents, John and Jacqueline Kennedy. JFK moved to Georgetown in 1947, when he first arrived as a freshman member of Congress, and he and Jackie continued to spend time there after he won the presidency. In the years since, the area has become known as the social hub of Camelot. Here are five places with rich Kennedy history.
Kennedy enthusiasts come to the 79-year-old, family-owned Martin’s Tavern at 1264 Wisconsin Avenue, to see the booth where JFK is said to have proposed to Jackie on June 24, 1953. It’s in the main room, seats four, and is easily reserved. Near it is a half booth, or a booth for one, where JFK liked to grab a bite solo. He favored eggs Benedict with Smithfield ham or eggs over medium, bacon, rye toast, and hash browns. Also coffee and orange juice.
The Kennedys lived at 3307 N Street, a Federal-style rowhouse, when JFK ran for President, when daughter Caroline was a little girl, and when Jackie gave birth to John Jr. It’s here that the President-elect held many press conferences on the front steps. And it’s the house from which the couple departed on a snowy morning in January 1961 to go to the inauguration and then move into the White House.
From the outside, 2720 Dumbarton Street isn’t impressive; it’s very nearly ugly. But it’s part of Kennedy legend. Joseph Alsop—a journalist, Georgetown bon vivant, and Kennedy friend—lived there from 1949 to the mid-1970s and was ringmaster of Camelot social life. On the night of the inauguration, after Jackie returned to the White House, JFK partied at Alsop’s into the wee hours. There have long been rumors that he used Alsop, and his house, for assignations with young women.
Jackie bought 3017 N Street after her husband’s assassination and intended to make it her permanent home, but she found it untenable to raise John Jr. and Caroline in the Georgetown fishbowl, where tour buses often parked outside their front door. She moved to New York City in 1964. According to the woman who has lived at 3017 N Street since 1976, former Miss America Yolande Betbeze Fox, the basement still has bolts of fabric that Kennedy decorator Billy Baldwin bought to use throughout the grand home.
When the Kennedys were in the White House, Jackie’s mother and stepfather, Janet and Hugh Auchincloss, lived at 3044 O Street. John Jr. and Caroline would often come to play. Janet Auchincloss had the blood-spattered pink suit that Jackie wore in Dallas removed from her White House closet, boxed up, and put it in her attic on O Street, where it remained until it was moved to the National Archives.