Reggie Van Lee is a man with vision.
When he was invited by Caroline Kennedy in the late 1970s to Hyannis Port, the New England Kennedy compound, he was so taken by the expansive space that he decided he would one day replicate it.
“In 1976, this little black boy from Sunnyside, [Texas] said ‘I’d like to have a family compound someday,” he says. At the time, he was attending MIT.
And 41 years later, he did just that!
He recently retired as an executive vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, and decided to build a 20,000-square-foot mansion for him, his sisters, their husbands and some of his friends.
The house is split into compartments, with each one containing two bedrooms with bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and laundry facility. The house also has a pool, a hair salon, and a chapel.
“When Reginald starts a project, everyone knows at some point it will come to fruition,” his sister Tommye Szafarz said. “Once he sets his mind on a project, it is going to happen.”
The timing couldn’t be anymore perfect: his parents are aging and need help, and his other sister also became ill (she died during the construction and the chapel is named after her). Bringing the already tight-knit family together made sense to him.
“As much as people say ‘Oh, that’s so nice of you to do this for your sisters’ they have no idea the joy I get myself.” Lee said.