A renowned New York builder’s passion project on the site of Katharine Hepburn’s former estate leads to a Fenwick waterfront gem
Renowned New York builder Frank J. Sciame, Jr. is known for having the vision of an architect and the eye of a contractor. His unique talent has earned his firm some of the metropolitan area’s most notable projects. Most recently, it led to the creation of an exquisitely endearing Connecticut home that Sciame built on the waterfront estate once owned by actress Katharine Hepburn.
Sciame and his family first purchased the Hepburn estate in 2004, when he decided to rehabilitate the home to preserve its historic essence. “He called it the ‘handyman special of a lifetime,’” says Fiona Sciame, Frank’s daughter and Manager of Acquisitions and Sales at F. J. Sciame Construction Co., Inc., one of the Tri-State area’s leading construction management firms.
In 2013, the family got permission to subdivide the land to build a second home on the once three and a half-acre estate, which became the elegant and inviting cottage at 6 Mohegan Avenue, built on 1.5 acres of private land. “After we built what we intended to be a guest cottage, we had so much interest in it that we thought, ‘Maybe we should put this on the market,” Sciame says. “It feels like you’re on a boat because you’re surrounded by water on all sides. It’s really special in that sense.”
The never-before-lived-in beach home is currently configured as a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home. With wood and tile flooring throughout and a stone fireplace in the great room, overlooking the Sound, the home is a perfect year-round getaway or full-time residence. Sciame says because it was originally built with their large and ever-expanding family in mind—a family of four kids who are all married and having children of their own now—the cottage was built with two washers and two washer-dryers to accommodate the fast-growing family.
Even so, the home maintains a sense of serenity and hominess. “It’s amazing but it’s not intimidating,” says Essex agent Colette Harron. “It’s beautiful and so well done. You have your own private beach, and the landscaping is just incredible. A home like this is truly a rare find.”
Mr. Sciame spared no expenses when designing the home, which includes White King granite countertops, a farm sink and an oversized island with a buffet made from reclaimed oak. Only the best appliances were installed: a Viking oven and stove, three Sub-Zero refrigerators, two Miele dishwashers and two pairs of washer-dryers. Custom-etched art glass doors complete the high-end, custom kitchen and pantry cabinetry. Other features include room-by-room whole house heating and cooling systems, indoor and outdoor speakers, and a top-of-the-line security system with pre-wired cameras.
“It’s really cozy, and I think it’s because the bedrooms aren’t oversized,” Sciame says. “And we also decorated the house to reflect the nautical community of Fenwick, which is such a family community.” The unique beach community of Fenwick is surrounded at all angles by the serene waters of the Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River and the iconic Fenwick Golden Pond, and has an idyllic golf course.
“It’s so hard to describe how special the Fenwick community is. You can sail, swim, golf and play tennis. Kids can ride their bikes around Borough and go house to house, wherever people are having dinner,” Sciame says. “It’s a place where you can go out in your big sweater and white jeans and feel comfy. It’s really an East Coast jewel.”
6 Mohegan Ave. in Old Saybrook, Connecticut (MLS ID: N10022242) is offered at $6,880,000 USD. For more information, contact Essex Brokerage agent Colette Harron at +1 860 304 2391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.