clock menu more-arrow no yes
The exterior of a restaurant along a busy city street. Getty Images

John F. Kennedy in the Boston area, mapped

The 22 essential spots where the 35th president lived, studied, and worked

View as Map

John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 in the family home in Brookline. From that moment, the 35th president's life was entwined with the Boston region.

He was educated in Brookline, Dedham, and Cambridge; lived and launched his political career in Beacon Hill; and lives on for posterity in institutions in Columbia Point and Harvard Square.

Here is the ultimate map of Kennedy's life and legacy in the Boston area, with points plotted north to south. A special nod to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum for helping prepare; and a further hat-tip to readers who wrote in with key additions.

Read More

1. Weld Hall

Copy Link
Harvard Yard
Boston, MA 02138

Weld Hall was JFK's first home at Harvard, which he entered in 1936.

An academic building barely visible behind dense trees. Shutterstock

2. Spee Club

Copy Link
76 Mt Auburn St
Cambridge, MA 02138

Kennedy was a member of this finals club while at Harvard, and was apparently fond of writing letters on Spee stationery.

His kid brother Robert was also later a member.

3. John F. Kennedy School of Government

Copy Link
79 JFK St
Cambridge, MA 02138

The Harvard school named for him actually predates Kennedy's entry into government.

It was rechristened for the late president in 1966.

A five-story academic building with a courtyard in front of it. KAKM/Wikipedia

4. Winthrop House

Copy Link
Memorial Dr.
Cambridge, MA 02138

JFK eventually ended up at Winthrop House at Harvard.

The rooms he occupied there are now called the Kennedy Suite, and the Kennedy School of Government uses them to house guest speakers.

A four-story, rectangular building. Bettmann Archive/Getty

5. John F. Kennedy Park

Copy Link

The public park just off John F. Kennedy Street in Harvard Square is at its brightest in May. Why? It's planted with flowers and assorted foliage that bloom right around JFK's May 29 birthday.

6. Old West Church

Copy Link
131 Cambridge St
Boston, MA 02114

When Senator and Mrs. Kennedy voted in the basement here on November 8, 1960, it was the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library.

A four-story, small church with a steeple in the middle. Shutterstock

7. Union Oyster House

Copy Link
41 Union St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-2750
Visit Website

JFK was a regular at America's oldest continuously operating restaurant during his first years in politics.

Most Sunday afternoons he could be found at Table 18, eating lobster stew and reading newspapers.

The exterior of a three-story building that houses a restaurant on the first floor. Shutterstock

8. Faneuil Hall

Copy Link
1 Faneuil Hall Sq
Boston, MA 02109
(617) 635-3105
Visit Website

Kennedy delivered what turned out to be his final campaign speech at this landmark on November 7, 1960, on the night before Election Day.

Networks televised the one-hour address nationally.

The front of a squat, triangular-roofed building with a bronze statue of man with folded arms outside. Shutterstock

9. 122 Bowdoin Street

Copy Link
122 Bowdoin St
Boston, MA 02108

Apartment 36, a two-bedroom on the third floor, served as Kennedy's headquarters for his 1946 congressional run; and remained his registered voting address for the rest of his life, including when he lived in the White House.

It's still an apartment building, with two-bedrooms now starting at $2,700 a month.

10. 10 Kilby Street

Copy Link
10 Kilby St
Boston, MA 02109

In 1952, JFK set up his Senate campaign headquarters in this four-story commercial building off Post Office Square.

Brother Robert Kennedy ran the effort, which is said to have been the first truly statewide Senate race in Massachusetts history.

11. 18 Tremont Street

Copy Link
18 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02108

Kennedy headquartered his 1946 congressional campaign in a second-floor suite in this 12-story office building.

12. Old Bellevue Hotel

Copy Link
21 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02108

JFK rented a two-bedroom apartment here in 1946, after he decided to run for the congressional seat that his maternal grandfather, John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, held (Honey Fitz lived down the hall, in fact).

The building is now private housing.

13. Omni Parker House

Copy Link
60 School St
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 227-8600
Visit Website

Kennedy kicked off his 1946 congressional race at the nation's oldest continuously operating hotel.

He also had his bachelor party here in 1953; and legend has it that he delivered his first speech at the Omni Parker at the tender age of 6: A brief statement about the greatness of his maternal grandfather, former Boston Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, at a party in the man's honor.

The exterior of a multi-story hotel fronting on a sidewalk, with a firm awning extending over its entrance. Shutterstock

14. Massachusetts State House

Copy Link
1 Ashburton Pl
Boston, MA 02108

President-elect Kennedy addressed a joint session of the legislature on January 9, 1961.

It was a farewell address of sorts to Massachusetts: "For 43 years, whether I was in London, or in Washington, or in the South Pacific, or elsewhere—this has been my home. And, God willing, wherever I serve, this shall remain my home."

The exterior of the Massachusetts State House. The building is red brick and there is a gold dome. There are white columns on the facade. Glenn Leblanc/Getty Images

15. 260 Tremont Street

Copy Link
260 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116

This 12-story commercial building hosted the headquarters of Kennedy’s 1960 presidential run.

16. 51 Abbottsford Road

Copy Link
51 Abbottsford Rd
Brookline, MA 02446

In 1920, when JFK was 3, the family decamped from 83 Beals Street to this larger home two blocks away. Robert Kennedy, among other siblings, was born here.

The house is now privately owned and does not do tours.

A three-story house with a large porch visible through thick trees. Photo via Zillow

17. St. Aidan's Church

Copy Link
201 Freeman St
Brookline, MA 02446

JFK was baptized into the Roman Catholic faith at this church on June 17, 1917.

The archdiocese of Boston sold St. Aidan's in 2003, and it was incorporated into a mixed-use housing complex.

A church with a triangular roof and a short steeple. Thomas Kelley/Wikipedia

18. John F. Kennedy Birthplace

Copy Link
83 Beals St
Brookline, MA 02446

The Brookline house at 83 Beals Street where JFK was born and lived for the first three years of his life is a national park and therefore free (the family reacquired it in 1966, following his assassination).

Tours should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, however.

19. Edward Devotion School (now Coolidge Corner School)

Copy Link
345 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

JFK attended kindergarten into third grade here.

The middle section of the public school—known today as the Coolidge Corner School—is the only section remaining from Kennedy’s time.

A two-story, rectangular school building. John Phelan/Wikipedia

20. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Copy Link
Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125
(617) 514-1600
Visit Website

I.M. Pei designed the Columbia Point library and museum, which is a repository for all things JFK-related, including a permanent exhibit on his family.

The complex opened in 1979 and was rededicated in 1993. The starkly geometric design made Pei's reputation.

A modern building housing the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Boston’s waterfront. Shutterstock

21. Dexter School

Copy Link
20 Newton St
Brookline, MA 02445
(617) 522-5544
Visit Website

The future president attended part of fourth and fifth grades at this private school that his father Joseph Sr. helped found after the closure of the lower school at Noble & Greenough (it's now known as Dexter Southfield).

The Kennedys then decamped for New York City and JFK for boarding schools outside of the Boston area.

22. Noble & Greenough School

Copy Link
10 Campus Dr
Dedham, MA 02026

JFK attended this private boarding school for part of third grade and some of fourth.

1. Weld Hall

Harvard Yard, Boston, MA 02138
An academic building barely visible behind dense trees. Shutterstock

Weld Hall was JFK's first home at Harvard, which he entered in 1936.

Harvard Yard
Boston, MA 02138

2. Spee Club

76 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

Kennedy was a member of this finals club while at Harvard, and was apparently fond of writing letters on Spee stationery.

His kid brother Robert was also later a member.

76 Mt Auburn St
Cambridge, MA 02138

3. John F. Kennedy School of Government

79 JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02138
A five-story academic building with a courtyard in front of it. KAKM/Wikipedia

The Harvard school named for him actually predates Kennedy's entry into government.

It was rechristened for the late president in 1966.

79 JFK St
Cambridge, MA 02138

4. Winthrop House

Memorial Dr., Cambridge, MA 02138
A four-story, rectangular building. Bettmann Archive/Getty

JFK eventually ended up at Winthrop House at Harvard.

The rooms he occupied there are now called the Kennedy Suite, and the Kennedy School of Government uses them to house guest speakers.

Memorial Dr.
Cambridge, MA 02138

5. John F. Kennedy Park

Cambridge, MA 02138

The public park just off John F. Kennedy Street in Harvard Square is at its brightest in May. Why? It's planted with flowers and assorted foliage that bloom right around JFK's May 29 birthday.

6. Old West Church

131 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114
A four-story, small church with a steeple in the middle. Shutterstock

When Senator and Mrs. Kennedy voted in the basement here on November 8, 1960, it was the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library.

131 Cambridge St
Boston, MA 02114

7. Union Oyster House

41 Union St, Boston, MA 02108
The exterior of a three-story building that houses a restaurant on the first floor. Shutterstock

JFK was a regular at America's oldest continuously operating restaurant during his first years in politics.

Most Sunday afternoons he could be found at Table 18, eating lobster stew and reading newspapers.

41 Union St
Boston, MA 02108

8. Faneuil Hall

1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109
The front of a squat, triangular-roofed building with a bronze statue of man with folded arms outside. Shutterstock

Kennedy delivered what turned out to be his final campaign speech at this landmark on November 7, 1960, on the night before Election Day.

Networks televised the one-hour address nationally.

1 Faneuil Hall Sq
Boston, MA 02109

9. 122 Bowdoin Street

122 Bowdoin St, Boston, MA 02108

Apartment 36, a two-bedroom on the third floor, served as Kennedy's headquarters for his 1946 congressional run; and remained his registered voting address for the rest of his life, including when he lived in the White House.

It's still an apartment building, with two-bedrooms now starting at $2,700 a month.

122 Bowdoin St
Boston, MA 02108

10. 10 Kilby Street

10 Kilby St, Boston, MA 02109

In 1952, JFK set up his Senate campaign headquarters in this four-story commercial building off Post Office Square.

Brother Robert Kennedy ran the effort, which is said to have been the first truly statewide Senate race in Massachusetts history.

10 Kilby St
Boston, MA 02109

11. 18 Tremont Street

18 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02108

Kennedy headquartered his 1946 congressional campaign in a second-floor suite in this 12-story office building.

18 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02108

12. Old Bellevue Hotel

21 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108

JFK rented a two-bedroom apartment here in 1946, after he decided to run for the congressional seat that his maternal grandfather, John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, held (Honey Fitz lived down the hall, in fact).

The building is now private housing.

21 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02108

13. Omni Parker House

60 School St, Boston, MA 02108
The exterior of a multi-story hotel fronting on a sidewalk, with a firm awning extending over its entrance. Shutterstock

Kennedy kicked off his 1946 congressional race at the nation's oldest continuously operating hotel.

He also had his bachelor party here in 1953; and legend has it that he delivered his first speech at the Omni Parker at the tender age of 6: A brief statement about the greatness of his maternal grandfather, former Boston Mayor John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, at a party in the man's honor.

60 School St
Boston, MA 02108

14. Massachusetts State House

1 Ashburton Pl, Boston, MA 02108
The exterior of the Massachusetts State House. The building is red brick and there is a gold dome. There are white columns on the facade. Glenn Leblanc/Getty Images

President-elect Kennedy addressed a joint session of the legislature on January 9, 1961.

It was a farewell address of sorts to Massachusetts: "For 43 years, whether I was in London, or in Washington, or in the South Pacific, or elsewhere—this has been my home. And, God willing, wherever I serve, this shall remain my home."

1 Ashburton Pl
Boston, MA 02108

15. 260 Tremont Street

260 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116

This 12-story commercial building hosted the headquarters of Kennedy’s 1960 presidential run.

260 Tremont St
Boston, MA 02116

16. 51 Abbottsford Road

51 Abbottsford Rd, Brookline, MA 02446
A three-story house with a large porch visible through thick trees. Photo via Zillow

In 1920, when JFK was 3, the family decamped from 83 Beals Street to this larger home two blocks away. Robert Kennedy, among other siblings, was born here.

The house is now privately owned and does not do tours.

51 Abbottsford Rd
Brookline, MA 02446

17. St. Aidan's Church

201 Freeman St, Brookline, MA 02446
A church with a triangular roof and a short steeple. Thomas Kelley/Wikipedia

JFK was baptized into the Roman Catholic faith at this church on June 17, 1917.

The archdiocese of Boston sold St. Aidan's in 2003, and it was incorporated into a mixed-use housing complex.

201 Freeman St
Brookline, MA 02446

18. John F. Kennedy Birthplace

83 Beals St, Brookline, MA 02446

The Brookline house at 83 Beals Street where JFK was born and lived for the first three years of his life is a national park and therefore free (the family reacquired it in 1966, following his assassination).

Tours should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance, however.

83 Beals St
Brookline, MA 02446

19. Edward Devotion School (now Coolidge Corner School)

345 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
A two-story, rectangular school building. John Phelan/Wikipedia

JFK attended kindergarten into third grade here.

The middle section of the public school—known today as the Coolidge Corner School—is the only section remaining from Kennedy’s time.

345 Harvard St
Brookline, MA 02446

20. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125
A modern building housing the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Boston’s waterfront. Shutterstock

I.M. Pei designed the Columbia Point library and museum, which is a repository for all things JFK-related, including a permanent exhibit on his family.

The complex opened in 1979 and was rededicated in 1993. The starkly geometric design made Pei's reputation.

Columbia Point
Boston, MA 02125

21. Dexter School

20 Newton St, Brookline, MA 02445

The future president attended part of fourth and fifth grades at this private school that his father Joseph Sr. helped found after the closure of the lower school at Noble & Greenough (it's now known as Dexter Southfield).

The Kennedys then decamped for New York City and JFK for boarding schools outside of the Boston area.

20 Newton St
Brookline, MA 02445

22. Noble & Greenough School

10 Campus Dr, Dedham, MA 02026

JFK attended this private boarding school for part of third grade and some of fourth.

10 Campus Dr
Dedham, MA 02026