The Kennedy family has transferred ownership of the main house on its storied Hyannisport compound to an institute named for the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
The Boston institute released a statement Monday announcing the transaction. The announcement said it said fulfilled the wishes of the late senator, who promised his mother the home would be preserved for charitable use. Kennedy died in 2009.
The institute said the 21-room house would host educational programs and eventually be open to the public.
"This is what Mrs. Rose Kennedy and Sen. Kennedy wanted," said institute trustee Nick Littlefield, "that the house would continue to serve public purposes and be preserved for the American people."
The 9,000-square-foot house was the family's gathering place in good times and bad, including after President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination.
"It's really an incredible opportunity for people to understand some of the excitement [and] what made this family so extraordinary and so unique in American history," Littlefield said.
Some Kennedys had earlier expressed concern about the donation. The institute said Monday that Kennedys who live on neighboring properties will still access the beach through the grounds and have limited recreational access.
The late senator's widow, Vicki Kennedy, is also giving her husband's remaining campaign funds — $3.2 million — to the institute to pay for the home's upkeep.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This article was originally published on January 30, 2012.
This program aired on January 30, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.