At the beginning of the drive to Katharine Hepburn’s estate in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, a hand-painted sign politely requested potential lookiloos to “Please Go Away.” If that wasn’t enough to convince them, a “Keep Out” sign was tacked below it. Gotta love it–especially when she posed next to them with flowers and a big grin on her face.
The film legend died at the age of 96 in 2003; her home sold a year later to Barbara and Frank Sciame for $6 million. They renovated it and just put it back on the market for $28m. Here’s how the house looked then:
The waterfront estate had been in the Hepburn family since 1913. The house was built in the late ’30s and Katharine did little to update it over the years. Well, everything has been now. It has been so updated, in fact, that it looks like it could be a brand new house.
So much of the house is so white that I wish there were more signs of warmth like there is with the wood around this fireplace. I imagine things were a lot warmer and darker before. (Note the books they have on the coffee table about her.)
Those of you who remember the houses and sets from movies better than the plots in them probably thought of the Hepburn Estate as it was portrayed in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Aviator, right? I remembered loving it when I saw the film back in ’04. I watched it again today to snaps some photos and compare the two.
Here’s how the Hepburn house looked in the movie when Howard Hughes (played by DiCaprio) and Kate Hepburn (Cate Blanchett) pulled up the long drive:
Sadly, a hurricane destroyed the original house shortly after Hepburn and Hughes broke up in 1938. It floated away in the water while the Hepburn family watched it from higher ground. Foundation bricks and a claw-footed bathtub were all that was left of it. They rebuilt this house in the same spot, but higher off the ground. (Source.)
You can read more about it and see more photos at The Daily Mail and the listing. Thanks to all of the readers (and fellow Hepburn fans) who emailed, FB’d, and Tweeted me about this listing. You guys rock.