Having split last year with her estranged husband, attorney Michael Mosberg, London-born and Manhattan-bred artist/actress Jemima Kirke, best known for her portrayal of the reliably unreliable boho-chic global gadabout Jessa Johnasson on Lena Dunham’s “Girls,” listed her eclectically furnished and art-filled 100-plus-year-old brownstone in Brooklyn’s historic, picturesque and stroller strewn Carroll Gardens neighborhood for $4.495 million. Kirke, who once expressed the whimsical desire to live in a castle cleaved to a cliff with velvet drapes, a huge fireplace and “a bunch of Dobermans”, seeks to more than double her money on the four-story, turn-of-the-20th-century townhouse she acquired, as was noted by our celebrity real estate comrade in arms at WWD, in September 2013 for $2.036 million. Floor plans included with online marketing materials show the legal two-family structure is currently configured as a single family home with three and potentially four or even five bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms in 3,360-square-feet.
Restored by eminent architect Richard H. Lewis — he’s responsible for the gorgeously evocative interiors of the legendary New York City eateries Balthazar, Tavern on the Green and Minetta Tavern — and no-doubt decorated with the assistance of Kirke’s designer mother, Lorraine Kirke — Mary-Louise Parker and Mariska Hargitay are among her high profile clients — the tall and slender townhouse looks like it could be the longtime home of a theatrical, worldly old auntie and her borderline hoarder husband with cozily hodgepodge décor, glimmering antique crystal chandeliers and what listing details call “imported flourishes” such as classic French moldings and Italian marble mantelpieces.
The main entrance is a few steps down from the sidewalk on the garden floor but the primary living and entertaining spaces are located one floor up in a loft-like, open-plan space the stretches the full depth of the house with blonde parquet floors and remarkably high ceilings. The living room area features a fireplace and a pair of massive, 12-pane floor-to-ceiling sash windows that overlook the tree canopied street; the dining area has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves; and the roomy, farmhouse-style kitchen sports a mix of marble and butcher block counter tops and a charming goulash of reclaimed vintage cabinetry juxtaposed against sleek, up-to-date appliances.
The second floor is given over entirely to the master suite that comprises an ample, bedroom-sized dressing room/lounge and a bedroom in which a claw-footed tub sits on a low platform in front of a non-working fireplace. The two rooms are linked by an Art Deco-inspired pass-through bathroom decked out with elegant black and white checkerboard floor tiles and a marble-lined shower space behind wrought-iron accented glass doors. Two more bedrooms and a windowless nursery or storage room on the top floor share a hall bathroom while the ground floor provides a convenient mud room just inside the front door, a gigantic family room or art studio that’s nearly 40-feet-long, a small potential bedroom and a full bathroom plus a powder room. Off the kitchen a covered terrace features patterned floor tiles under foot and a staircase down to the pint-sized backyard and a roof deck provides on open, over-the-rooftops view of the lower Manhattan skyline.
Kirke, soon to be seen on the silver screen opposite Molly Ringwald in the comedy “All These Small Moments” as well as in the upcoming indie dramedy “Wild Honey Pie,” previously co-owned with her mother a one-bedroom and one-bathroom condo in a prime, pre-war building in Manhattan’s East Village they bought in early 2008 for a bit more than $710,000. Property records indicate in early 2013 the younger Kirke, who maintains a painting studio in Brooklyn’s far-flung Red Hook ‘hood, sold her half interest in the high-floor downtown apartment for $375,000 to her five years younger actress sister, Lola Kirke, co-star of the Amazon Prime series “Mozart in the Jungle.”
listing photos and floor plan: Brown Harris Stevens