Katharine Hepburn’s Former Family Estate Listed for $18M
Hepburn is considered by most to be one of Hollywood’s greatest actresses with a record four Academy Awards — more than any other actor, male or female — and 12 nominations. Outspoken, elegant and determined, Hepburn grew up in a wealthy family in Old Saybrook and began acting in college. Her roles in movies like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “Bringing up Baby,” and “The African Queen” permanently place her incategory of legends of the silver screen legend.
Her estate in the Fenwick borough of Old Saybrook was constructed in 1913. In September 1938, Hepburn was visiting with her family and narrowly escaped The Great New England Hurricane, a Category 5 hurricane that destroyed 8,900 homes — including the Hepburns’ — and 700 lives were lost.
In her autobiography “Me,” Hepburn stated that she narrowly survived the storm and lost 95 percent of her personal belongings, including her 1932 Best Actress Oscar. The statuette was later found intact.
The story goes that Hepburn loved her estate so much, that she rebuilt it within a year, raising it by several feet as a precaution against future storms. Over 50 years later, the brick home still stands.
in 2003, Hepburn died at the age of 96 at the estate.
In 2004, the home was purchased by Barbara and Frank Sciame, the chief executive of F.J. Sciame Construction, who told the Wall Street Journal that they had every intent to just renovate the home and resell it, but ended up keeping it as a summer home for several years.
The Sciames have split the estate into three lots. The parcel containing the Hepburn home is the priciest at $18 million, but the entire 3.5-acre parcel can be purchased for $28 million. Median Old Saybrook home values are currently $329,600.
The Hepburn home sits on Long Island Sound with a private dock and beach. The 6-bedroom, 7.5-bath home was completely renovated by the Sciames, including upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms. With 8,300 square feet of living space, the beach home has high ceilings, architectural detailing as well as large windows, and French doors that offer expansive water views.