Katharine Hepburn, one of America's first ladies of the silver screen and a cultural icon, lived in the public eye in many ways. Her romances with Howard Hughes and a long-time partnership with actor Spencer Tracy were the stuff of Hollywood legend. She was notoriously outspoken yet a consummate professional, winning many awards and accolades during her 67 year career. She was nominated for 12 Oscars, winning four.
Despite fame, fortune and trophies, Hepburn's had a different possession that she considered her most valuable, and it is up for sale. The Hepburn family summer home, built in1939, in Fenwick, Connecticut is currently listed for $28 million.
(All photos courtesy of Realtor.com)
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The Hepburns were a famously outdoorsy and active family, in the New England tradition of the Kennedy clan. On September 21, 1938, Hepburn was staying in her family's Old Saybrook, Connecticut beach home when the 1938 New England Hurricane struck and destroyed the house. Hepburn, her mother, brother and servants narrowly escaped before the property was lifted off its foundations and washed away. She stated in her 1991 book entitled Me that she lost 95 percent of her belongings to the storm, including her 1932â€"1933 Best Actress Oscar, which was later found intact. Fenwick is the house they built to replace the home they lost.
The story goes that Hepburn bought a large set of building blocks from F.A.O. Schwarz and used them to construct a model of her dream home which became the 6 bedroom, 7.5 bath, 8,368 square foot dwelling that sits on 3.45 acres on Long Island Sound.
On June 29, 2003, Hepburn died of natural causes at Fenwick. She was 96 years old.
In 2005, the new owner embarked on a complete renovation of the property, which included raising the structure five feet to protect it from the Long Island Sound on which it sits. All new systems were installed, and the historic structure was augmented to create light-filled rooms while preserving the historical integrity, per Realtor.com.
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Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and The Equifax Personal Finance Blog, and is Chief Content Strategist at RealtyJoin.com, a community for real estate investors.
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