Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Whoopi Goldberg Is A Jersey Girl

BUYER: Whoopi Goldberg
LOCATION: West Orange, NJ
PRICE: $2,800,000
SIZE: 9,486 square feet, 8 bedrooms, 6 full and 2 half bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: Stately and elegant, this perfect Colonial Mansion sits in the heart of world famous Llewellyn Park. Home of the Edisons, Chubbs, Colgates, etc. This stately home sits in lush gardens with carriage house, servant's house, and greenhouse.

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A few weeks ago Your Mama discussed the art filled New York City loft that Oscar winning comedienne/actress Whoopi Goldberg listed for sale with an asking price of $3,990,000. Today, thanks to a leg up from Lulu Letsusknow, we're going to discuss the West Orange, NJ mansion–listed with a price tag of $2,999,999–that property records reveal the gabfest grandee scooped up in August of 2009 for $2,800,000.

Once upon a time, way back in the early 1990s, Miz Goldberg was a capital "c" celebrity with all the suits in Tinseltown bowing down to her big box office receipts and star turns on television programs like Star Trek: The Next Generation. More recently the vexatiously eyebrowless Miz Goldberg has done more voice over work (Toy Story 3, Descendants, Snow Buddies, Everyone's Hero, Doogal) than in front of the camera acting and, of course, she spends five mornings a week pontificating, opining and rolling her eyes at wide-eyed Republican Elizabeth Hasselback on The View.

Property records show Miz Goldberg's new mansion, which listing information called Colonial but which is really more Georgian, was built in 1927 and sits on a 2.34 parcel in the leafy, gated community of Llewellyn Park. Llewellyn Park, located just 14 miles west of lower Manhattan, was established by a Mister Llewellyn in the 1850s and bills itself as the first planned community in the United States. The 425-acre community offers residents a 24 hour guarded gate, bucolic streets lined with period gas lamps, and a 50 acre landscaped park called The Ramble that meanders through the community. Somehow we imagine that the activities in Llewellyn Park's family friendly Ramble is a far cry from the lusty activities that go on behind trees and in the bushes of The Ramble in New York City's Central Park.

Miz Goldberg, hardly the first prominent person to call Llewellyn Park, joins a long lists of former notable residents including members of the Colgate family (soap and toothpaste), the Merck family (pharmaceuticals), and the Chubb family (safes) as well as Thomas Edison (electricity) whose estate Glenmont is a National Historic Site, and former minister turned abolitionist James Miller McKim whose Llewellyn Park house contained secret rooms used to hide escaped slaves traveling on the Underground Railroad.

Listing information and property records reveal Miz Goldberg's new house, called Ravenscroft, measures in at 9,486 square feet and includes 8 bedrooms and six full and 2 half poopers. That's a lot of damn terlits for a ladee who, as far as Your Mama knows, lives all by her lonesome.

Listing information indicates that beyond the curving circular driveway and the columned portico, the historic home counts 23 rooms including a grand entrance hall, a paneled living room with a black, veined marble fireplace surround, a banquet hall sized dining room, a family room lined with a series of tall, arched windows and an newly renovated eat in kitchen with a large work island, cream colored faux-antiqued cabinetry, granite counter tops and all the over-sized stainless steel appliances one can and should expect in a house of this weight and cost. The vast master bedroom includes a vintage, tiled bathroom plenty large enough to comfortably navigate in a damn hoop skirt, not that the somewhat masculine Miz Goldberg will be donning a hoop skirt any time soon.

Other amenities include a sitting room and sun room on the second floor, a tee-vee watching room off the kitchen, and in the basement a wine cellar, paneled billiard room, fitness room, and a media room. The wonky rear facade of the house shows a wide screened porch stretching along a good portion of the main floor. Your Mama loves us a screened porch because dealing with all them flying bugs and mosquitoes that come around on the East Coast during the hot and humid summer times can be an itchy load of misery. Listing information Your Mama managed to dig up shows the genteel property includes lush gardens, expansive lawns, a swimming pool as well as a carriage house, greenhouse and a servant's house.

Having once lived in a spectacular house in blue-blooded Tuxedo Park, NY Miz Goldberg is certainly no stranger to upscale gated communities in suburban New York City. Property records also show that the dreadlocked jokester whose real name is the much less funny Caryn Johnson also owns a house in Pacific Palisades, CA and she may or may not still own and 8,000 acre spread in Vermont, a small house (or duplex) in Berkeley, CA and some kind of property in Cornwall, CT.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think this home is absolutely gorgeous. The sprawling lawn and carriage house are too nice. A 9,400+ sq foot home for $2.8M - not bad!

She was quite the opportunist when she changed her name to Goldberg. Smart girl!

stolidog said...

sorry, but this grammatical error was too good to pass up:

Miz Goldberg, hardly the first prominent person to call Llewellyn Park home, has been home to a large number of notable American families.....

man, what a whore she must have been!

Anonymous said...

Seems like a lot of house for $2.8, especially one so close to Manhattan.

jim said...

The Sept.28th post from Mister Big Time claims she still owns the VT spread and has owned the Berkeley house since 1985. The Cornwall property is an undeveloped 27.8 acres she bought in 1992.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anon 10:03, she got a great deal on a house of this magnatude and so close to NYC. Gorgeous !

Jules

Scrufff said...

I had always read that the first planned community in the US was the gated hilltop development known as Laughlin Park in Los Feliz (an upscale neighborhood located in Los Angeles.) Late teens/early 1920's? I believe the developer sent his architects to study hillside villages in Italy and then try to recreate them in Laughlin Park.

The Cecil B. DeMille house is still up for sale, starting at $26,250,000 and now slashed to 18,950,000. It's a rather shocking amount of money when you consider that the most expensive homes in Los Feliz hover around $5M. For that amount of money you could be living in the best of BH or Bel Air.

Plus literally, just blocks out side the gates of Laughlin park is some of the skankiest hoods in Hollywood. Last year a suitcase was found in a trash dumpster with a body in it. It was maybe four blocks (uphill) from this home .

http://tinyurl.com/ydjlrjc

Anonymous said...

Way to go Whoopi!

Anonymous said...

Now that LOOKS like a mansion. Why can't they build houses like that anymore?

Kellsboro Jack said...

Her former place in Tuxedo Park NY - Turtle Point - puts this hovel to shame. That stone 1890 lakefront estate designed by the great architect Bruce Price (Emily Post's father) was far more impressive, yet liveable.

StPaulSnowman said...

Great exterior..........but I have to wonder what happened to the original staircase. The spindly one in the photos has to be a substitution. ....painted risers and wood treads....no. I am sure the original was as wonderful as the rest of the house.

JLo said...

Honestly the decor reminds me of Danielle Staub's place.

Anonymous said...

Nice home and good price.

Anonymous said...

Very stately for the casualish Miz Whoop. It is a beautiful neighborhood. I hope she gives the bluebloods a laugh or two on her morning walks.

Anonymous said...

You guys must be kidding me. The decor is horrible! Typical Jersey trash.

Anonymous said...

Oh, the decor. Well it is the former owner's. I still want to smack the person who put up those stupid heart-shaped, ivy-covered wreathes in the breakfast room. Don't even get me started on the vanity in the master bath. Just, no.

Whoopi sold her house in Cornwall eons ago. I wonder why she still has property there? Unfortunately, the house she had in Cornwall was just uphill from a massively mosquito infested pond/swamp. It was a pretty view, but a rather challenging spot to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

well, look, i don't have an enormous amount of confidence that whoopi can resurrect this from its present incarnation, but here's hoping. amazing how, and how often, a certain kind of new jersey taste can ruin a beautiful old money wasp mansion.

this is one of the most extraordinary residential communities in america. i believe some of the same people who were involved in the development of tuxedo park, where whoopi previously had a place, were also involved in the design of lewelyn park. olmstead, the designer of central park, being one. incredible homes here, the original ones (other very ordinary ones have been subdivided in, unfortunately) sell at what by (LA) standards are ridiculously low prices because this is very close to newark and orange which are a complete disaster. Rich people in new jersey can find other places to park their enormous real estate dollars and send their kids to public school at the same time. not that many good private schools. but for other quirky folks (like whoopi), this is just the place.
two adjacent towns, maplewood and montclair, have become the suburban destinations, bar none, in all of the nyc metro area for hip liberal straight (montclair) and gay (maplewood) new yorkers who now find themselves raising families.

Anonymous said...

oh yeah forgot to put out there. what exactly is the story with whoopi? why would she want a 9000 sq. ft. house in the new jersey suburbs? apparently she has a significant other, and it goes without saying it's male, because, appearances aside, their is no doubt that whoopi is hetero, but why would she want to live here? she has the country at her amazing property in vermont. why wouldn't she just want to live in soho with an easy ride to the studio, rather than dealing with the incredibly awful commute from nj through the lincoln tunnel?

pch said...

Snowman, you're the total history dude and I'm curious to know why the painted risers and stained treads seem wrong to you. Only because I know many houses in New England, of earlier vintage even, with staircases in that combination. So it doesn't strike me as inherently anachronistic in a house from the 1920s. Perhaps it's a regional thing?

I'm the guy who freaks out when people put the wrong door or window on a mid-century house, so I get how a detail that you know is wrong could drive you crazy. Very interested to know why this staircase looks out of place to you.

Viva! said...

Taking into account Whoopi's recent move from Soho I can only assume that this place is for her use. If so, it's a lot of house for a very good price and it LOOKS like a mansion. Very beautiful.

My only other thought if perhaps she bought this place for her daughter and grandchildren? Perhaps they'll all live together in this big 'ol house?

Love Whoopi Goldberg, always have, she's the bomb!

Anonymous said...

I think this house was on this real estate show on HGTV...called Bought & Sold...The bathroom look very familar.

EstelleDoheny said...

Kellsboro Jack says it's "Impressive, yet livable." Don't know why that makes me laugh.

StPaulSnowman said...

Dear PCH; It is my understanding that in houses of this vintage, both the risers and treads were constructed of high quality lumber finished as natural wood. When budget was an issue, the treads were high quality for durability while the risers were of inferior wood painted to mask its true nature. The balusters in this staircase are too spindly and out of proportion. In many great old houses of this architectural style, I have seen iron and, in one case, crystal balusters but they are always more robust. I suspect that this staircase was modernized, (remuddled) in the forties. It just doesn't seem right to me but there it is. I think that the New England vernacular used a lot more painted trim throughout the interior and that may be why more risers were painted. Cheers!

pch said...

Snowman -- thanks for the insight :)

buickfan said...

StPaulSnowman and PCH have speculated on whether or not the staircase shown in one of the R/E pictures is original to the house. It is, right down to the painted risers and the slender balusters and railing. When the house was new, there was carpeting on the stairs, in the center like a waterfall, not across the entire width of the stair tread. Also, the pool table shown in a R/E picture is original to the house. The two bathroom pix reveal original tile work and original layout. Pedestal sink is original.

Anonymous said...

She also owns a house in central New York just outside Ithaca on state route 89