Friday, August 7, 2009

A Little New York City Eye Candy To End the Week


SELLER: Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich
LOCATION: W. 11th Street, New York City, NY
PRICE: $11,995,000
SIZE: 6 bedrooms, 3 full and 3 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Built in the late 1800's, this house has been meticulously renovated with an eye on retaining the original architectural detail, such as crown moldings and wide plank pine floors, while introducing modern amenities such as central air, high speed computer lines and a security system.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: After the visual quagmire of dancer/rapper/reality show participant/baby daddy Kevin Federline's suburban cauchemar that we reluctantly discussed this morning, Your Mama's soul desperately needed to wind up the week looking at a something that makes sense to our delicate decorative sensitivities and too easily disappointed real estate sensibilities. In short, we needed to look at something pretty and we found that pretty in the New York City townhouse owned and recently listed with an asking price of $11,995,000 by faboo flame haired actress Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski and Magnolia) and her filmmaker huzband Bart Freundlich.

This bit of real estate bizness was first reported two days ago by celebrity real estate gossip boy wonder Max Abelson at the NY Observer and quickly re-hashed by Curbed and Apartment Therapy and just about every other publication, blog or website that cares about these sorts of things. So, yes, we know, we're late to the rodeo and we don't need to hear any griping about it.

Property records and all those previous reports reveal the couple scooped up the Greek Revival style townhouse in 2003 for $3,500,000. At the time they purchased the property it was configured not as a single family dwelling but as four separate apartments. Clearly, considerable time and much moolah was spent converting the five floor glute-busting beauty back to a single family house with 4-6 bedrooms (depending on how one counts) and 6 terlits in 3 full and 3 half bathrooms.

As far as Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are concerned there's precious little not to love about Miz Moore's manse. The architect has maintained (or recreated) original details thus preserving its historical context while wiring the place up for modern conveniences such as central air conditioning, high speed internet and a security system that will knock the block off an intruder. We find the floor plan extraordinarily well resolved particularly given the house lacks an elevator, the artwork makes us go week in the knees and the overall interior day-core appears comfortable, very personal and easily lived in. Let's be honest chickens, it's practically flawless. This may not be your cup of decorative tea, but you'd have to to be some kind of moe-ron or one of those people who thinks everything should be neutral in a house to not see and understand the quality and style of Miz Moore's residence.

We love that the two parlors have been united with cheap paper shades–which are probably from the dee-voon Pearl River on lower Broadway which was way better when they were still on Canal Street, but that's another story for another day; We pine for a pantry as large as this one and we appreciate the second laundry room on the fourth floor where the primary family bedrooms are located; We're swooning for the 49-foot long rear garden that while probably not particularly private is a true luxury in the sardine-ish West Village and we're seething with envy over the master suite because it's the perfect set up for Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter who would be likely headed straight to the court of dee-vorce iffin we ever had to share closet space.

However, despite its near perfection we found three interior de-zine misteps we think are egregious enough to mention:

1. The Refrigerator / First of all, Your Mama does not care for a side by side fridge but that's not the real issue. What perplexes and flummoxes Your Mama is why the smart architect or skilled kitchen designer did not have custom cabinetry built around that big stainless steel thing. Damn thing is just sitting there looking all unfinished.

2. The Guest Pooper (on the parlor floor) / Although we're enormously pleased and grateful that Miz Moore and Mister Freundlich wisely included a guest pooper on the parlor level, for obvious reasons of privacy and odor control we would most definitely prefer the door open into the stair hall and not into the far more public passage between the two parlor rooms.

3. The Shutters (in the master bath). While we've dig and adore that the original wide plank pine floors in the master bathroom were successfully married to that wonderfully modern, sarcophagus-like marble soaking tub, we're deeply concerned about the wooden shutters. We realize the need for privacy. These are, after all famous occupants and those windows are at the front of the house. We also understand that shutters are in keeping with the sort of thing one often finds in old townhouses in Manhattan and they probably fold back and disappear into a nifty niche. However, we still hate them. A simple top down/bottom up shade would be our preference or maybe even some dirt-cheap matchstick blinds from Pearl River which would work that high/low thing again.

Even with these defects, which are easily and quickly remedied, had Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter twelve million clams and we still wanted to shack up in Manhattan we'd definitely tour this townhouse even though it is located in the West Village, a wonderfully scaled neighborhood once brimming with bohemian joi de vivre that has been transformed into a charming, historic and severely over-gentrified neighborhood where only people with fat bank accounts can afford to live as evidenced by the high asking price of Miz Moore and Mister Freundlich's townhouse.

None the less...well played Miz Moore and Mister Freundlich.

32 comments:

CurlyQ said...

I whole heartedly agree. What a gorgeous place to call home, and considering the work that went into restoring this home, and the price one has to pay to live in the west village, the price is "fair."

Anonymous said...

How do I get a hold of a set of keys? I'd like to move in tomorrow. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Why people are willing to live in such narrow rooms at such a high price baffles me. I guess New York is so wunnerful, you can make any sacrifice necessary to be there?

Rich said...

Nice to see that taste and money sometimes do go together.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that all of my favorite real estate gossip blogs have been featuring the same houses as of late? There are so many cool houses on the market right now, many of which are undoubtedly owned by noteworthy, interesting folk (even if they might not be "celebrities" in the traditional sense - but it seems all it takes is $$$ or a high-profile faux pas to pass for a "celebrity" these days...but I digress). Does anyone agree?

Kissyface said...

Well, it's lovely. I can't abide nitpickers, so that's all I'll say about the physical plant.

But the price is ludicrous! Look, I like the West Village as well as anyone else. Along with my own Los Feliz, the West Village is the co-Mecca all Bobos In Paradise face as they bow and pray 5 times a day! [http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2000/may/28/focus.news1] OK, I admit that's a little geographically and geometrically confusing. But it's worth it.

On the other hand, the West Village is no nicer than real, original Turtle Bay Gardens [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turtle_Bay,_Manhattan], where one can walk to Rockefeller Center or The United Nations in less than 5 minutes and ALSO enjoy the glorious, huge private Turtle Bay Garden! Try matching THAT in the West Village. One of the Turtle Bay Gardens townhouses happens to be for sale right now for $6,250,000:

http://www.brownharrisstevens.com/detail.aspx?id=961042

And another one sold just last year for about the same amount. These are no fixers; these are done to the nines.

Look, I love Ms. Moore. I'm sure Mr. Freundlich is a great kick in the head and roll in the hay. And their conjugal manse is the bees’ knees to behold. But at $11,995,000 when Turtle Bay Gardens awaits at about half that price?? NO, NO, NO! Clearly somebody has been inhaling far too much of the old, psychedelic, psychoactive Greenwich Village atmosphere!

Madam Pince said...

Mama, you're never late to the rodeo ... you give careful consideration to each property before gracing the chirren with your thoughts.

I'm not a city person, but I love this property (and Miz Moore) so much I'd snatch it up in a hot minute and turn myself into a NYC gal.

StPaulSnowman said...

La Pince stole my thunder. I was going to suggest that your being late to the rodeo is never a problem since it is the retelling in your vindaloo vernacular that gives us such joy. If your quills are locked and loaded, I wouldn't care if People magazine mentioned the property first. The property under discussion is a gem and would even make Edith Wharton all tingly in the nether regions! My only criticism is that the Federloid property hasn't yet fallen off into the oblivion of "older posts"

Ykaterina Novitskaya said...

That bathroom is lovely but could be lethal in the dark for anyone on coumadin. Even the Restoration Hardware bedding looks perfect. That benchy thing under the entrance hall painting is the perfect place to await your audience with La Moore.

Sandpiper said...

Anon 2:19, if it's a bidding war, we're toe to toe, plus a little financial back up ... unfortunately, not from our dear sweet Mama or the good doctor. My place is very much along these lines, but ooooohhhhh, not nearly close enough. Off to the paint shop tomorrow. Swooning.

Rich said...

Ykaterina, That "benchy thing" to which you refer is a George Nelson Platform Bench and a classic.

Anonymous said...

The new American dream is to live in the West Village, every famous person already does and every romantic comedy is shot there. Even Judge Sotomyayor lives there.

Dr. Zorba said...

It looks like a benchy thing to me. A bench by any other name.................

The Preppy Pauper said...

Can I tell you how gratifying it is to see what a stunner Julianne Moore and Bart Freundlich's townhouse is? I love Julianne's film work, and this home's design and location totally confirms my adoration for her as an artist and a person. Okay enough gushing. With apologies to Kissyface, Turtle Bay is lovely, as are a number of other Manhattan neighborhoods, but there is nothing like Greenwich Village. It still attracts the likes of Julianne Moore and Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwenyth Paltrow et. al. Downtown Manhattan; The Village, Soho and Tribeca are without a doubt the hottest parts of NYC. My only question; what in God's name are Julianne and Bart upgrading to?

Rich said...

You are certainly entitled to call the George Nelson Platform Bench a benchy thing or anything else you like. It's called freedumb.

Anonymous said...

What can I do to make enough money to live in a place like this in NYC??? It seems like everything "decent" is several million dollars! I just don't see how people make that kind of money. In most parts of the country, one can live in a relative palace for a million bucks. What do people do to make this kind of money?????

Anonymous said...

Oh Richie!........someone hit your snobby nerve.

Rebecca said...

12 mil and no elevator? Does that seem right? I'm not up on prices in that neighborhood right now, so I have no idea. But it seems that, particularly right now, you should be able to have a place at least as nice as this with an elevator for that price. What's the starting price for an elevator townhouse in that area, then? Mama? Anyone?

Veda P Forrester said...

Uh--Kissyface-- this house is in the grid of the Village--not the "geographically and geometrically confusing" Village. And many don't consider it to be the West Village at all. As for your comparison of the Village to Turtle Bay Gardens--come on! TBG is only 48th & 49th between two avenues--the Village has plenty of center-of-block communal or semi-communal gardens. And no skyscrapers (go away, St Vincents).

As for Rich--get you, Ella.

Anonymous said...

I love the house. But the garden was a stunning let-down. Concrete slabs, low fences, and some empty planters?

Kissyface said...

Veda P. Forrester -

No, no, no!

It's not the Moore house or its environs that I said was "geographically and geometrically confusing." I said that it's "geographically and geometrically confusing" to have to face and bow and pray 5 times a day to both Los Feliz and its Bobo co-Mecca on the east coast (the West Village) at the same time. Heck, that's the Magnum Mysterium of Bobos in Paradise!

Is the West Village worth an additional $6 Million? Not to me. I prefer Turtle Bay, where I once lived in the house on 48th Street that had been owned by E.B. White when he wrote Charlotte's Web and enthused over the old willow tree in the Turtle Bay garden in those occassional pieces he wrote for the New Yorker.

But to The Preppy Pauper and Veda and everyone else who can't get enough of Greenwhich Village, I say no apologies are necessary, your choice is not irrational, and it's YOUR MONEY!!! Please, enjoy the West Village! Party On! Live! Love! Enjoy!

Hugs and Kisses! Ciao!

Anonymous said...

This place is really and truly lovely and desirable. I don't know enough about NYC real estate to comment on the value (or lack thereof) for the price. Plus, this strata of real estate pricing is all Monopoly money to me.

The narrowness of many of the rooms might leave me a little claustrophic if I lived there. Hard to tell from a photo, though.

The kitchen is to DIE FOR! I suspect, Mama, that the fridge doesn't have cabinetry around it because it might throw off the symmetry of the brick wall. I kind of like seeing the fridge freestanding and the way you can see the brick behind it.

Anonymous said...

You think they could have put a few living plants in the pots in the yard. I thought she had a green thumb? Must have shot in late winter?

Also, The master bedroom looks a little to narrow to have the fireplace that close to the bed! Maybe you could burn a presto log or have a gas lava log, but a real roaring fire would make me nervous! Seems they don't like fires or they are faux. No fire box, wood grates, screens, or glass doors on any fireplace. I don't real like any of the fireplace mantels except for the Master Bedroom. She probably parks a fern or orchid in each of them?

Also, don't like the dark grey walls in the narrow rooms. Makes them look even narrower. I like the lighter color of the Master Bedroom and Hall Way walls. And the very sharp corners on the island bathtub are not to safe.

gwen2xs said...

THEY'RE SELLING?
as miz moore's adorable friend hanibal once said 'this is going to hurt.'

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the name of any of the artists whose paintings etc. are in the house. Specifically the one in the entrance hallway, and the ones above the two fireplaces on the parlor level?

They are so beautiful and inspiring....

Anonymous said...

They have only had this place for 6 years (a lot of which I'm assuming was renovations). I wonder why they are leaving such a perfect little nest so soon?

luke220 said...

It's so beautiful and tastefully done. Big mistake not to have put in an elevator, my guess is that it takes a million off value.

Enough with the pots- obviously the outdoor pics were winter- no leaves on the trees either. Maybe the broker should change the outdoor pics?

Anonymous said...

They looks like Frette sheets to me, not Pottery Barn!

Alessandra said...

Well played, indeed! I can't find very many nitpicks and the ones that I have are unnecessary to mention. Overall, this is quite gorgeous. It seems like the kind of place you'd want to call home.

Laura [What I Like] said...

I love it and can't imagine why on earth they are selling, especially in this market. Although I must admit, I find it a little annoying that the kitchen is on what is essentially the basement floor. Am I alone there?

Anonymous said...

It's back on the market again. This time with a $12,500,000 tag.

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