Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Connelly and Bettany Leave Brooklyn

SELLER: Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany
LOCATION: Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY
PRICE: $8,500,000
SIZE: 5,276 square feet, 9 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Located on a corner lot directly across from Prospect Park, sunlight fills the grandly proportioned rooms all day long through over sized windows. All of the original wood carving surrounding the windows and mantels as well as the elaborate plaster work on the ceilings remains intact and in perfect condition. There are fireplaces in all of the public rooms (living, dining, kitchen) as well as in 3 of the 4 master bedrooms. There is a full servant's quarters on the top floor consisting of 4 small bedrooms, a full bath and a large storage room...Central air-conditioning has been added and there is a large, fully landscaped garden at the rear of the house which is gated and private.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Once upon a time and not so long ago the faces of people actually crumpled up in consternation and confusion if you told them you were headed to Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood to visit a friend.

"Park Slope?" They hissed incredulously as they looked you up and down like you had gone mad. "Are. You. Kidding? How do you even get there? Who do you know in Park Slope? Are they lezbeeun?" (Park Slope has long been considered a haven for ladees of the Sapphic persuasion)

And the situation was even more melodramatic if you actually dared to move from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Believe Your Mama when we tell the children that many great friendships were busted up and torn asunder because die-hard Manhattan-centrics adamantly and vehemently ree-fused to haul their booties onto the damn F train.

Then, about five or six years ago just about every artist, hipster or wannabe hipster with a banana seat bi-cycle, people who had previously never ventured north of 14th Street or west of Broadway, packed up their old-skool turntables and ironic t-shirts and moved across the East River to Williamsburg. The exodus had begun. Soon lower Manhattan was hemorrhaging hipsters, homosexuals and the artistically inclined to beautiful but previously unknown Brooklyn neighborhoods like Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, and of course, good ol' Park Slope.

The celebrities soon followed and rich and famous folks like Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams packed their luxury luggage and beelined it for Brooklyn. Two of Park Slope's resident celebrity poster people have long been Oscar winning actress Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind)–who grew up in Brooklyn–and her dirty looking but impossibly sexy actor huzband Paul Bettany who records show scooped up a major mansion on Prospect Park West in August of 2003 for $3,700,000.

But Park Slope poster people they are not more. That's right children, Connelly and Bettany have forsaken the borough of Brooklyn. Gasps all around. Not only have the couple reportedly decamped to Manhattan's TriBeCa neighborhood where they'll shack up in a $6,995,000 penthouse loft, as the good people at Curbed were the first to report, the couple have also put their plum piece of Park Slope pulchritude on the market with an eye popping and Manhattan-like asking price of $8,500,000.

Listing information for the elegant looking 5,276 square foot mostly detached mansion shows there are nine bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. Four of the bedrooms and one of the bathrooms happen to be staff quarters that are tucked up under the third floor roof so unless the new owner plans on employing a few live in gurls (or boys) to keep all that crazy carved wood detailing dust free, those room are unlikely to be used much excect for the punishing the children. Oh dear! Did we say that out loud?

Anyhoo, Your Mama positively wet our party pants with envy and dee-light when we first perused the pretty pictures of the comely Connelly/Bettany crib. As far as Your Mama is concerned, this sort of soo-blime juxtaposition of old and new, minimal and maximal is about as good as it gets. Mixing all that wickedly intricate woodwork and exquisite plaster detailing with spare, clean lined and yet comfortable looking contemporary furniture creates an unexpected friction and visual tension that makes Your Mama's mouth water.

Paring down the seating arrangements and eliminating knick knacks allows the architectural drama to take the main stage and presents a seductive and sensational sophistication to the grandly proportioned rooms which are kept intimate and user friendly with yummy tactile fabrics and deep-seated down filled sofas perfect for curling up with long bodied bitches and other loved ones.

Your Mama will not be making any predictions about whether East Coast based Hollywood types moving from Brooklyn to Manhattan marks the beginning of a new New York City residential migration trend. However, it's certainly not unusual for NYC neighborhoods du jour to reach their peak, mellow with age and then see the pioneers and vanguards move on to other less discovered and less expensive locales. Remember when SoHo was an affordable, electrifying and creative place? Now it's just a place for tourists to buy khakies at Gap and make up at Sephora.

However, given the princely price tag of the Connelly/Bettany mansion in Park Slope, not to mention the glitzy and glassy Richard Meier designed condo complex going up at Grand Army Plaza, it appears that the next wave of folks migrating to Park Slope will certainly be rich if not arty and/or famous.

(ASIDE) We are so sorry for spelling Miz Connelly's name incorrectly the first time around. How embarrassing! It's been corrected.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love this house and all the original wood, etc. Their alleged new place cannot even compare, even if it is in Tribeca.

Alessandra said...

I covet the entry doors and the built-ins in the dining room. And I agree that their new place cannot compare, though if they sell for close to asking, I'm sure making a handsome profit in real estate will ease the transition.

pch said...

Beautiful. Really beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I saw this house on TV (maybe GMA???), they were doing a story on unique houses in Brooklyn. I can't figure it out...

Anonymous said...

There is some weird history with this house.. it used to be a hospital/ girls school / something weird. It was run down / abandoned, bought for $1 , remodled by new owner, sold to Jennifer.

Something like that.

Anonymous said...

Mama, can you post photos of the place they are buying? I just am so shocked. I thought they were so all about Park Slope. Maybe the home was just too much for them to maintain being on movie sets all the time. Well Park Slope still has Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard!

fairfield girl said...

oh my it is truly beautiful what else can you say.....

Anonymous said...

Mama her last name is actually spelled ConnElly. Anyway I also think her home is gorgeous. Can't wait to read your write up of the place they are buying, hopefully there are photos of that too! A $7 million penthouse sounds sweet!

Anonymous said...

Amazing woodworking. I can imagine living in the lap of luxury there, sun shining in the windows, perched on the sofa in the sunshine reading a great novel. Ahh the life..

I would love to know the history of this beauty also.

Sandalwood...

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I wonder what this means for Brooklyn. Frankly Paul and Jennifer were the first of the new wave of big celebrities to move here, not Heath and Michelle. Heath is the one who followed his A Knight's Tale costar to Brooklyn. Then followed Maggie & Peter, and Keri Russell, and Emily Mortimer, Patrick Wilson, and the like...Jennifer and Paul were the trendsetters, and the biggest remaining couple. I am not sure if other celebrities will follow suit now and move. It is a big loss to Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

The house is beautiful but they are both out of town so much that having a condo in Tribeca is the easier option I'm sure. Their new place in Tribeca is really nice, of course it doesn't comare to this place but it's not meant to - they are totally different ... & in all honesty I don't know any Manhattan residents who would swap their apts for a house in Brooklyn ...

People have been leaving Brooklyn the past couple years, many people who originally left for Williamsburg are all going back to Manhattan now b/c rents are pretty much the same these days - & Heath Ledger had obviously left Brooklyn for a big old loft in Soho - I don't blame any of them, Park Slope is to far out & it's filled with stroller Nazis - bruised shins are never fun.

bentley said...

W-O-W.

The entry hall...

StPaulSnowman said...

Everyone has said it but ,as a deep fan of period homes, I cannot resist chiming in......it is gorgeous. The decor is sparse but beautifully showcases the magnificent detail in wood and glass. There will be a lot of happy rapid pulserates as prospective buyers view this magnificent property. Thanks for the sweet treat Mama. Without you I never would have had the joy of seeing this gem.

Anonymous said...

Mama, are you sure this house is "fully detached?" I have passed by it many times, and I'm sure it is attached by one side to its neighbor. You can also see it in the picture.

dolly said...

Agree with all here that this is spine-tinglingly gorgeous, but does not look fully detached. Love the parlor room with the pink sofa and the gray set into the walls. Love the little bunny next to the fireplace in the family room but how one would clean that rug is a mystery to me. The wood work is amazing but the only place I don't think it works is in the dining room - I would change the paint color in there as I feel it's a little bit too oppressive.

They probably wanted something more private and secure. I mean, let's say one of the kids is having a birthday party. What's JC going to do - just open the front door to arriving guests when any old bum could be sitting on that fire hydrant right in front of the house just waiting to harrass her?

Anonymous said...

Beautiful house but I wouldn't pay that much for Brooklyn and if I did it would be Brooklyn Heights, not Park Slope.

lil' gay boy said...

It's stunning.

My great-great grandparents owned a house on Prospect Park West; I have pictures of my Nana when she was 5 years old (1895) sitting in the parlor - I still have some of the furnishings.

It looked almost exactly like this house, except chock-full with Victorian bric-a-brack.

How I wish it were still in the family . . .

Anonymous said...

This home is my favorite of all the ones I've seen on here. Just so elegant, light, and airy. Might I suggest something preposterous? Could this darling home actually have been (gasp) a starter home for them? Connelly grew up in Brooklyn Heights, but lived in a one bedroom apartment in the West Village for years (according to my googling). This was her first home purchase. Could they have actually been thinking of this as a starter home??? I wonder.

Anonymous said...

Nice. But for the same price you can have a brownstone in the West Village.

StPaulSnowman said...

I would prefer this beauty to a dreary brownstone in the West Village.................unless, of course, the West Village was in the Cotswolds.

Anonymous said...

Wow this is the real esate shocker of the year for me. Never expected them to leave this stunning home. Some more photos for those who want to peruse:

Her home and surrounding neighborhood (her home is second from bottom on left).

http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/brooklyn/parkslope/prospectparkwest/index.htm

Also NY Daily News Did a Slide Show with new photos including back yard. Click on the photo gallery.

http://www.nydailynews.com/real_estate/2008/05/08/2008-05-08_jennifer_connelly_selling_85m_pad.html

Anonymous said...

Shoot part of the link is obscured. Ok.

http://www.bridgeandtunnelclub.com/bigmap/brooklyn/parkslope/index.htm

Go here and click "A walk down Prospect Park West".

StPaulSnowman said...
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