KENNEBUNKPORT — A New England shingle-style house is being built for likely Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on his family’s compound at Walker’s Point.

The two-story, 3,000-square-foot house, which is expected to be finished this summer, is the ninth residential building on the site, and neighbors are taking it in stride.

The Boston Globe reported Sunday that the house – referred to as a cottage in planning documents – is estimated to cost $600,000 and sits on a 1.3-acre site assessed by the town at $1.4 million.

Locals, many of whom only reluctantly talk about their presidential neighbors to protect their privacy, say they are just glad the Bushes appear to be strengthening their roots in this seaside town by making room for future generations of the family.

“I didn’t have a clue who it was for,” said Kathy Anuszewski, owner of Port Lobster Co., which is about a mile away from Walker’s Point on Ocean Avenue.

The home is being built by Terry Philbrick Building and Remodeling Inc. of Kennebunkport, a three-generation contractor for the Bush family. Philbrick built a similar, smaller, two-story house on the point in 2013 for Marvin Bush, the youngest son of former President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush. Construction photos of that building, designed by a Virginia architectural firm, are on Philbrick’s Facebook page.


The cottage for Jeb Bush, a former governor of Florida, was designed by Wells architect Kristi Kenney of KW Architects.

She said Sunday that designing a house for such a politically prominent family was an intimidating assignment but one that has gone smoothly.

“It is very scary, but I am very honored to be able to work with them,” Kenney said in a telephone interview.

Kenney said the idea was to keep the design simple and match the other eight residential buildings on the compound, which was bought by the 41st president’s great-grandfather in the late 19th century.

“And we wanted to take advantage of the views, which are amazing from every window,” said Kenney.

The biggest building on the compound is the 7,100-square-foot, 12-room house built in 1920 that dominates Walker’s Point. Jeb Bush’s house is the second largest on the property. It is supposed to be finished sometime in July, said Kenney.


Kenney said she mainly worked with family intermediaries on the design and did not know how much direct involvement Jeb Bush – who owns one other home, in Coral Gables, Florida – has had on the project. She said she does know his daughters-in-law helped make some decorating decisions, such as paint colors and lighting.

Patricia Taylor, who lives near the Bush compound and was walking her golden Lab, Andros, on Sunday afternoon on Ocean Avenue, said she doesn’t have an opinion about the Jeb Bush house. She said as long as the new building blends in, it doesn’t matter to her what the Bushes do.

“As long as it is done well,” she said.

Tourists who had stopped Sunday at a popular parking area that overlooks Walker’s Point said they were unaware that the new house was destined for Jeb Bush. The house, which is about halfway shingled, appears to be almost complete on the outside.

Lenny Drury of New Orleans said he was surprised at the understated style of the entire compound.

“I have seen some fancier places than this,” said Drury, a Republican who said Jeb Bush’s new summer cottage would have absolutely no influence on his vote.


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