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Hepburn House Court Fight Ends, Owner Frank Sciame Loses

New York City developer Frank Sciame was ordered in 2010 by the Historic District Commission of the Borough of Fenwick to cut a foot off the height of two 5-foot granite posts that he installed at the driveway to Katharine Hepburn's former home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.

Sciame bought Hepburn's estate (pictured) for $6 million in 2004. He made renovations and is now trying to sell it for $30 million.

The historic commission members were concerned that the height of the posts made them too visible from surrounding areas, reports the Associated Press.

Sciame thought the historic commission didn't have the authority to issue the order in 2010. so instead he placed two foot-high flower beds at the base of the posts.

Sciame later "invited" the historic commission to take legal action against him, which they did.

The Connecticut State Appellate Court today dismissed Sciame's claims that the historic commission overstepped its authority and inflicted emotional distress on him.

Sciame's lawyer, Genevieve Salvatore, said no appeals were planned and the posts have already have been lowered to the required height.

Salvatore told the Associated Press: "The facts may seem trivial, but it's the procedure he's concerned about. What Mr. Sciame was really concerned about was a governmental entity running roughshod over somebody's rights. I think he was trying to show them ... that I'm not someone who's going to be pushed around."

The commission's lawyer, Lewis Wise, said: "He did the mounding of dirt and basically said, 'What are you going to do about it? He basically left them (the commission) no choice, and it's too bad."


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