Spring House Hunt

The home that belonged to JFK’s grandparents hits the market in Dorchester

John Kennedy, Thomas Fitzgerald, Josie Fitzgerald
President John Kennedy with his 97-year-old grandmother, Mary Josephine "Josie" Fitzgerald (center) and his uncle and aunt during a visit at their home in Dorchester in 1962. Associated Press/JR/File 1962

A piece of Kennedy family history is on the market in Dorchester for $1,299,000.

Tucked on a cul-de-sac with the original street lamps on Carruth’s Hill, 3 Rundel Park was once home to a Boston mayor and grandfather of President John F. Kennedy Jr.: John “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald and his wife, Mary Josephine Hannon Fitzgerald. Honey Fitz lived in the home until his death in 1946, while his wife remained until the mid-60s, according to historic documents. But it was the visits from President Kennedy  in 1962 that brought tremendous attention to the property.

John F. Kennedy, John F.
In this June 18, 1946, file photo, Democrat congressional candidate John F. Kennedy casts his vote beside his grandparents Mary Josephine “Josie” Fitzgerald and former Boston mayor John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald during a primary election in Boston. Fitzgerald served two terms as Boston’s mayor in the early 1900s. – Associated Press/File 1946
3-rundel-dorchester-exterior
. – Jack Vatcher Photography

Built in the 1890s, the five-bed, 2.5-bath home, which measures 3,322 square feet, has undergone a significant restoration in recent years. Designed by notable Dorchester architect Edwin J. Lewis, the home welcomes guests through a regal foyer with a working fireplace. On the left is the living room, which is filled with natural light. To the right is the music room, which could also function as a mudroom or office with a beautiful bay window.

3-rundel-dorchester-fireplace
. – Jack Vatcher Photography

“It’s such a sweet, unique element that you don’t see in many places,”  Leslie MacKinnon of Compass, who has the listing, said of the music room.

3-rundel-dorchester-music-room
. – Jack Vatcher Photography

A formal dining room sits under a chandelier and also has a cozy nook and a fireplace. The restored kitchen features stainless steel appliances and hardwood flooring and provides access to a large pantry with the original stained cabinetry.

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The partially finished sunroom has plenty of potential for creativity. The owners, who are relocating to the West Coast for work, intended to convert it into a “great room.” Now, it’s a great blank slate for anyone who wants to create the perfect family room, MacKinnon said.

3-rundel-dorchester-kitchen
. – Jack Vatcher Photography
3-rundel-dorchester-sink
. – Jack Vatcher Photography
3-rundel-dorchester-dining
. – Jack Vatcher Photography

Two staircases lead to the second floor, the bedroom level. The spacious primary bedroom now has a restored en-suite bath with dual sinks. The home’s third fireplace is located in one of the other bedrooms, which is set up as an office. Blue Hills is visible from the window.

3-rundel-dorchester-bedroom-2
. – Jack Vatcher Photography
3-rundel-dorchester-bedroom
. – Jack Vatcher Photography
3-rundel-dorchester-office-2
. – Jack Vatcher Photography
3-rundel-dorchester-office
. – Jack Vatcher Photography
3-rundel-dorchester-bath
. – Jack Vatcher Photography
3-rundel-dorchester-sink
. – Jack Vatcher Photography

In addition to the renovations in the kitchen and bathrooms, the home has a new roof and driveway and an upgraded electrical system.

The house was previously on the market in 2015, selling for $540,000 in February 2016. At that time, the longtime owner said there were several remnants of presidential history in the home, like the multiple phone jacks in the primary bedroom closet the Secret Service used when JFK would visit.

“They’re still there,” MacKinnon said. “That is the rumor. Whether or not it’s accurate, it’s a cool story.”

There is also some actual photographic documentation of JFK in the home. The current owner, Luke Samaha, has a stamped original photo from the president’s visit in 1962, when JFK came to town to vote. Samaha believes the photo was taken in the upstairs office.

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“All those years, it would of been Grandma’s house,” said Samaha.

Take the video tour.

Megan Johnson can be reached at [email protected]. Subscribe to our free real estate newsletter at pages.email.bostonglobe.com/AddressSignUp. Follow us on Twitter @globehomes and Boston.com on Facebook.

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