Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Crime Writer Patricia Cornwell Purchases Penthouse

BUYER: Patricia Cornwell and Staci Gruber
PRICE: $6,500,000
SIZE: 4,553 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday we received a covert communique from a real estate insider–let's call her Boston Betty–who snitched to Your Mama that super successful crime novel writer Patricia Cornwell and her ladee-mate Staci Gruber snatched up a couple of high-priced condominiums at the posh Fairmont Battery Wharf development.

Miz Cornwell, whose people came down from abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe, is unquestionably best known for her best selling series that feature a steely, tough talking medical examiner protagonist named Kay Scarpetta and her wealthy genius lesbian niece Lucy Farinelli. The 18 Kay Scarpetta novels, filled with graphic, gruesome, medically accurate and fascinating forensic details, have all sold like hotcakes making Miz Cornwell one of the world's most commercially successful and ridiculously rich writers.

After many fits and starts, Miz Cornwell's novels will finally be seen on the big screen. It was announced earlier this year that Angelina Jolie signed on to play Kay Scarpetta, an obvious choice, perhaps, but one that will ensure the Kay Scarpetta film franchise is at least as successful as the book series.

Miz Cornwell, who somewhat bizarrely has long standing relationships with George H.W. Bush and the Billy Graham family, has developed and cultivated a particular interest in Jack the Ripper and has spent years and bundles of her own money to prove her theory that noted impressionist painter Walker Sickert was Jack the Ripper. Miz Cornwell has gone so far as to purchase more than 30 of Sickert's paintings in order to try and lift some DNA off of them that she could pair up with a letter attributed to Jack the Ripper. Miz Cornwell wrote a convincing book on her theory about Sickert–who was himself a wee bit obsessed with Jack the Ripper–but has not been embraced by the art world who, it seems, is not interested in having to possibly re-think and re-write the history of an accomplished artist.

Although she is famously reluctant to discuss her private life, several years ago Miz Cornwell confirmed that in 2005 she married Dr. Staci Gruber. Miz Gruber may not be as famous as her wife, but she's no intellectual slouch and holds an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry position at Harvard Medical School as well as being Associate Director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Laboratory at McLean Hospital. This, children, is what you call a lesbian power couple even if they choose to keep very low public profiles as ladee lovin' females.

Anyhoo, according to Boston Betty, the Sapphic sisters scooped up not one but two apartments at the Fairmont Battery Wharf, a combination 5-star hotel and luxury condo complex development near the North End of town.

The complex, built on a couple of finger piers that stretch out into beauteous Boston Harbor not so far from where the Celtics bounce basketballs and the Bruins push pucks, offers residents 5-star hotel services including top-flight security, valet parking, concierge, snow removal, fitness facilities, and 24-hour housekeeping for those times when you need a the living room vacuumed and terlit scrubbed at 3:45 in the damn morning. A restaurant within the Fairmont Battery Wharf complex offers hotel guests and condo residents fancy, new-fangled French food and L'Institut de Guerlain provides spa services. Residents of the Fairmont Battery Wharf can request a private shuttle boat from the complex to Logan Airport and they can purchase docking rights so they park their boats out their back doors.

Listing information and the deed that Your Mama obtained shows the larger of the two condos–purchased by Miz Cornwell and Miz Gruber for $6,500,000–measures more than 4,500 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms, 4.5 poopers, 4 terraces plus a private roof deck, 2 garage parking spaces–where Miz Cornwell might park her Ferraris–and monstrous monthly taxes and common charges of nearly 8 thousand smackers.

The open plan living area has a fireplace, gleaming hardwood floors and numerous windows with expansive water views on three sides and the sleek gore-may kitchen, which can be opened to or closed off from the main living area with a set of folding glass doors, offers custom stainless steel and wood cabinetry that looks like they're fashioned from walnut or some other luscious wood, jet black granite counter tops and breakfast bar, an induction cooking surface, and built in espresso maker.

While the view is lovely, the real star of this penthouse pad is the floating circular glass staircase that looks like someone stole it right out of the damn Apple Store on W. 14th Street in Manhattan. The translucent treads wind all the way up from the lower level to the roof top terrace. Listen puppies, Your Mama recognizes that these all-glass staircases represent a real damn feat in materials manipulation and architectural engineering. However, they are visually discombobulating, downright scary, and invite–nay, encourage–lurid peeping up the skirts of whatever women and drag queens might be gliding up and down the curving staircase. We don't mean any disrespect but while this kind of display might be desirable for a couple of lesbians like Miz Cornwell and Miz Gruber, Your Mama does not need to be sitting on the sofa in the living room eating canapés and sipping an ice cold gin & tonic only to glance up to see the panties and/or cooch of some ladee as she ascends to the roof terrace without a clue that she's giving everyone a good look at her naughty bits.

According to Boston Betty, Miz Cornwell and Miz Gruber not only picked up a penthouse pad at the Fairmont Battery Wharf complex, they also picked up a second apartment, perhaps to be used for guests, staff or–because beehawtcha gets some crazy fans–the private security detail Miz Cornwell reportedly employs on book tours and other public appearances.

According to listing information, the ladees paid $1,650,000 for the 2 bedroom and 2 pooper unit that measures almost 1,600 square feet and carries monthly tax and common charges of more than $2,200. The unit also comes with a private balcony with views of the harbor, one deeded parking space and all the luxe 5-star hotel amenities of the Fairmont Battery Wharf.

Since sometime in 2006, previous reports reveal that Cornwell and Gruber reside in a sprawling farmhouse in the literary hotbed of Concord, MA, the former home of noted writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry David Thoreau. Current writerly residents in Concord include presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, physicist/author Alan Lightman, writer Gregory Maguire and comedian Steve Carell who owns a home in Concord but resides–as far as we know–primarily in the Toluca Lake area of Los Angeles.


Lilithcat said...

Love the view, hate the bathtub (how the heck do you get in and out of that thing) and hate that staircase (open tread spiral staircases scare me to death!).

"Miz Cornwell wrote a convincing book on her theory about Sickert . . ."

Not terribly convincing. She completely ignores evidence that contradicts her pet theory (for instance, the evidence that Sickert was actually out of the country at the time of at least one of the murders), which is unscholarly, to say the least.

Mabel Simmons said...

"Your Mama does not need to be sitting on the sofa in the living room eating canapés and sipping an ice cold gin & tonic only to look up to see the panties and/or cooch of some ladee as she ascends to the roof terrace without a clue that she's giving everyone a show."

Madam Pince said...

Miz Cornwell is a former resident of Richmond, VA, my hometown, and known as what we Southerners call "a piece of work." I can only hope Dr. Gruber has made her a nicer person, because she was an enfant terrible in the River City.

lil' gay boy said...

It may be one of many an ugly building on Battery Wharf, but the view surely compensates (although I'll be good goddamned if I can spot any rooftop area that could possibly appeal as a "private roof deck").

I too have misgivings about the tub; although a splendid sculptural piece, it is rather reminiscent of the prep area for a 21st century cannibal stew... and even though it's visually stunning, the staircase seems gratuitous and out of place here.

As for the ladees Concord 'hood, well, I wouldn't mind having to slip 'round the back of the adorkable Alan Lightman's house to borrow a cup of, um, sugar; yeah, that's it; sugar.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of Patricia Cornwell. The books sound interesting, so I may give her a read. A few more pennies for her real estate fund.

Anonymous said...

Your Mama is a frickin' genius. Those staircases are a voyer's dream. I love it when they park sitting areas under such stairs, so one can both look up ladies' dresses while crap is falling into one's hor d'oeuvres.

I am not impressed. The windows look to be aluminum: tacky, tacky, tacky.

But I like the view, and the fact that the damn refrigerator can be separated from the living room. When did it become derigueur in million dollar homes to open the front door and see the refrigerator? I don't get it.

Carla Ridge said...

Honestly? It looks like a crime scene, waiting to happen. " 'Her life seemed so perfect', her friends all said...each of them using those exact same words, without variation."

Aunt Gina said...

if I tried to ascend or descend any staircase I could see through I would have to breathe into a paper bag and/or take a nerve pill...

angie said...

The only thing I find even remotely appealing about this condo are the wood elements - floor and kitchen cabinets. Good thing it has a great view, but I would so not pay $7.5MM and $8,000M/month to live there, no way.

Anonymous said...

Pretty rich livin' for an Asst. Professor, even at Harvard. I wonder if her colleagues aren't a bit snide about it all. I bet it takes her a long time to get tenure, if ever.

micanichi said...

Try as one might, the acid etched glass treads will obscure any lesbonic wahinas revealed by whomever has chosen to go commando. If you're still in search of something dark, wet and completely unappetizing, then a visit to the terrace is in order.

lil' gay boy said...

"If you're still in search of something dark, wet and completely unappetizing, then a visit to the terrace is in order."

Oh my.

Too, too funny!

Anonymous said...

I don't get those condo-hotel things - sounds like a really sour deal, in my opinion. Pay $8K a month, and your will get "access" to overpriced restaurant meals (with correspondingly overpriced delivery charges) and overpriced spa services. Like it is such a trouble to call up the Chinese place, or haul your behind a couple of blocks to a salon of your choice. I bet for additional $5K they pay a month just for the "access" to these services, they may order all Chinese/Italian/Whatever they can eat in a month, and enough spa services to cover at least one of the lady's needs.

StPaulSnowman said...

It makes me sad to think of the Newport masterpiece slipping off the bottom of this page without hitting 80 comments........ah for the good old days!

Sister George said...

it really has the WOW in "WOW, this is a RESIDENTIAL space?".....I suppose I'm just an old fashioned gal but this place is so unlivable...nary an architectural element in the place...stairway stolen from the Apple Store indeed, Mama!

fairfield girl said...

I love Olive Garden but I wasn't aware they had home delivery with complementary human sized salad bowls.
While the stairs are stare worthy I just cant picture me in my kaftan ever feeling comfortable on all that glass.

MattGMD said...

Pity the condo doesn't seem to include a helipad on the roof for Ms. C to park her Bell helicopter. Considering she was basically raised by Rev and Mrs Billy Graham, one can only imagine how she gravitated to the evil-murdering topics she writes about. *shudders*

Purchase Property Gran Canaria said...

I like the view but I have never heard of Patricia Cornwell. The books sound interesting, so I may give her a read. A few more pennies for her real estate fund.
I am not impressed because windows look to be aluminum.

Anonymous said...

Pay attention, boys and girls. Purchases and condo fees like these are why less than a year ago Ms. Cornwell and wife were suing their money manager for losing their fortune and leaving them with less than $ten mil. Guess she got another book contract and I hope it's a big'un, for the their sake.
And knowing Cornwell's rep, I'd bet the big apartment is for marital affairs ... and the small one is for extra-marital affairs!
But God bless.

Anonymous said...

Matt she does have a bell helicopter. And anonymous is right, purchases like these, which she may not ever live in are exactly why she is suing her former business managers.