The main home in the so-called ‘Kennedy compound’—including its lawn, where the Kennedy clan once played football—is now off-limits to the family, as the nonprofit Edward M. Kennedy Institute exercises its right to control the house for educational purposes.
The home “is to be used for the purpose of holding educational seminars and forums,” Debra Deshong Reed, spokeswoman for the Institute, told the New York Post. “It is not for rent by private individuals.”
When Ted Kennedy’s widow, Vicki, donated the home to the Institute in January, the Institute warned that the Kennedys would have “limited usage of the property going forward” and “limited access to the grounds for recreational purposes.”
Vicki’s donation—which complied with Ted and Rose Kennedy’s stated wishes—specified that family members could make a rental agreement with the Institute for the use of recreational facilities. The Institute, however, has rejected at least one such rental request, from none other than Taylor Swift.
The famous country-pop star is dating Connor Kennedy, son of Bobby Kennedy Jr. But the rental request from the young couple was rejected by the Institute as not in keeping with the Institute’s educational mission.
According to Boston Globe coverage of the reputed Kennedy family feud, Ted Kennedy’s sons, Ted Jr. and Patrick, think Vicki Kennedy is unduly relying on partisan guidance from Ted Kennedy’s friends in her control of the Institute.
The Institute’s facility at the University of Massachusetts will open in 2014, and has benefited from $32 million in government grants. According to tax records, the Institute spent $753,575 on collectibles in 2010, including Andy Warhol prints from Ted Kennedy’s 1980 presidential campaign and 752 copies of Kennedy’s memoir, ‘True Compass.’
Although the Kennedys can’t play football on the Hyannis Port lawn, they are welcome to try their hands at beach volleyball—the family retains access to the beach as part of “longstanding easements,” the New York Post reported.