Frank Sciame Sums Up the Allure of Old Saybrook

Katharine Hepburn's former abode is like the "other woman."

RealDealJanuaryCoverThe January issue of The Real Deal has arrived. Of note for FishbowlNY readers is a back-of-book interview with Frank Sciame Jr., chairman and CEO of Sciame Construction.

There’s a lot of great stuff here, including a funny recollecton from Sciame about how the perception of thorough vetting for an early 1980s breakthrough job for Sotheby’s betrayed the fact that he was in fact casually hired, on the spot. But that perception, at the time, was everything.

Sciame also talks about his personal experiences with a famously acquired bit of real estate in Old Saybrook, Conn.:

“When [Katharine Hepburn] passed away, the initial price was a big number. But it started coming down. It was the quintessential handyman’s special, with water stains and asbestos; it was actually listing six inches from front to back. I made an offer. Half of me was hoping they’d say yes, and half of me was hoping they’d say no…”

“My wife fell in love with it. Not that I have any experience with other women, but I call this house the “other woman.” She’s beautiful, she’s expensive and she’s a distraction.”

Last fall, Sciame added an historic lighthouse to the Connecticut compound. There’s also a new guest house on the property that is currently on the market for $6.88 million.

In the Real Deal Q&A, Sciame also explains why the recent Broadway show Dinner With Friends marked the end of his days as a Great White North backer.