YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Listen kittens, Your Mama knows that few of you probably recognize the names Vicky Ward or Matthew Doull. They are, none the less, high profile New Yorkers whose names have been in the tabs lately due their impending and ugly dee–vorce. Even still and although we recognize they’re not exactly “celebrities,” Your Mama is in a New York state of mind and we’re feeling something sticky for the erstwhile couple’s townhouse in New York City’s once boho now insanely-gentrified West Village neighborhood currently on the market with an asking price of $5,995,000.
In the event that anyone cares, Mister Doull is a bit of biznessman and entrepreneur as well as a former (associate) publisher of the sexy-techie magazine Wired. He is also, for what it’s worth, the step-nephew of disgraced media mogul Conrad Black who was recently released from the pokey on a $2,000,000 bond after serving a few years of a 6.5 year term for a couple of nasty convictions on mail fraud and obstruction of justice. Mister Black once owned a number of pricey properties up and down the eastern seaboard including a Palm Beach mansion that, despite denials by his people, has long been on the market with an undisclosed asking price. It was to this ocean front estate that Mister Black reportedly went immediately after being released.
Miz Ward is a British born and very glammy writer and contributing editor to Vanity Fair magazine, the gorgeous and glossy publication that Your Mama likes to think of as terlit reading for the urbane. The successful scribe has penned profiles and pieces on heaps of honchos and bigwigs such as former CEO turned wannabe senator Carly Fiorina, former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke, prostie luvvin‘ billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, prostie luvvin‘ pol Eliot Spitzer, and former C.I.A. operative Valerie Plame. In addition to laying down ink for Vanity Fair and Huffington Post, and doing tons of on-air interviews for Bloomberg TV, Miz Ward recently released a best selling book by the name of The Devil’s Casino: Friendship, Betrayal, and the High States Games Inside Lehman Brothers.
As mentioned earlier, the not quite yet dee–vorced couple have had their names splashed around in the New York City tabs including on the pages of Miz Ward’s former employer the New York Post where Page Six recently reported that both have restraining orders against each other after a big blow up that (allegedly) resulted from Mister Doull’s request that Miz Ward pay for a Brazilian vacation he took with his 22-year old girlfriend. Besides being capital T-tacky on Mister Doull’s part, what kind of gal who’s barely old enough to imbibe booze gets involved with and goes on an international holiday with a man who’s engaged in a bitter battle with his not quite yet ex-wife? And too, what sort of approaching middle age fellow with young children takes up with a 22 year old whippersnapper even before his dee–vorce is finalized?
Anyhoo, property records show that Mister Doull and Miz Ward purchased their West Village townhouse in May of 2000 when they shelled out $2,300,000 for the four floor plus basement townhouse. It appears to Your Mama that at the time the townhouse was snatched up it was a three unit warren of rooms that the once happy couple did up and over into a single family house with 3 real bedrooms and 3 full and 2 half poopers.
Although there are reports that Mister Doull moved out of the couple’s once happy home in March and into a vacant West 9th Street apartment owned by stylish socialite and fashion writer Plum Sykes, Your Mama really has no idea exactly when Mister Doull and Miz Ward’s relationship soured and swirled down the terlit of love. What we do know is that his is not the first trip the clashing couple have made to the real estate rodeo with this particular pony. According to the fine folks over at Streeteasy the Ward-Doull townhouse was first listed in mid-March of 2009 with an asking price of $6,995,000. It was mysteriously taken off the market just 12 days later.
Whatever the reason(s) for de-listing the property, it remained off the (open) market until mid-March of 2010 when it was hoisted back on the block with the higher asking price of $7,495,000. Two months later the price tag plummeted to $6,500,000 and another two months later the price dropped again to it’s current asking price of $5,995,000.
For better or worse, the section of the West Village neighborhood where the Ward-Doull townhouse is located is no longer a boho enclave teeming with artists and writers. That is unless they’re rich artists and writers, of course. The Ward-Doull townhouse, far from affordable for all but the very wealthy, is indeed perfectly situated and priced for all the pecunious peeps and chichi shop lovers who arrived like locusts over the last decade or two and transformed the neighborhood from a charming but slightly out of the way zigzag of narrow streets into a glittering shopping mecca for deep pocketed types, many of whom seem to cotton to the not accurate notion that it’s edgy and downtown to crawl around the West Village to purchase $400 doo-dads from the innumerable pocketbook punishing boo-teeks that line the streets.
The Ward-Doull townhouse is indeed a perfect example of what the West Village has become. Once upon a time not too long ago the immediate neighborhood was a little too far west to be considered fashionable. It was a bit gritty and most people wouldn’t have dreamt of stepping into one of the area’s squares or parks after dark. Today, not only is the Ward-Doull townhouse situated directly across the street from a playground where stylish moms and foreign born nannies take their children and wards for jungle gym climbing and screaming, it is sandwiched between the James Perse boo-teek where a simple cotton wife-beater tank will cost a gal fifty-five smackers and one of the three celebrity packed shoppy shops über designer Marc Jacobs has in the ‘hood. Other ritzy retailers near the Ward-Doull townhouse include Jack Spade–the male arm of Kate Spade’s burgeoning lifestyle empire–Lulu Guinness, and the world famous (and quite possibly over-rated) Magnolia Bakery where tourists and New Yorkers alike line up out the door for a nibble of one of their $3 and 25 cent damn cupcakes.
While Your Mama finds the day-core lackluster and even a bit dull, according to listing information the interiors were all done up by a ladee-decorator named “Kathy Lydon.” Unfortunately, the Real Estates misidentified Kathy Lydon whose actual name is Katie Lydon, a New York City based Brit who was recently called out by both Elle Decor and Metropolitan Home as an up and coming (interior) designer.
Listing information indicates the landmark townhouse was built in 1860 as part of a row of seven townhouses, all of which besides the Ward-Doull’s have ground floors converted to commercial and retail spaces. With no elevator, the four floor townhouse may not be for the torpid or glutially weak. However, for those who don’t mind getting a bit of exercise climbing from the ground floor kitchen to the third floor master bedroom the townhouse offers a modestly sized and well-conceived floor plan.
As do the front doors of many West Village townhouse, the front door of the Ward-Doull dwelling opens directly from the sidewalk of bizzy bizzy Bleecker Street into the ground floor of the building that includes a small foyer, living room with fireplace and small dining area that must be traversed in order to get to the generously scaled and sky lit eat in kitchen. For reasons that should be obvious to the children, we don’t care for a pooper to open directly into the kitchen where food in prepared as does the powder pooper of the Ward-Doull townhosue. Perhaps there were structural limitations that did not allow such, but Your Mama would have much preferred the door to the powder pooper be placed in the small hall landing behind the dining room that leads down to the finished basement level.
The lower level, a finished basement really, contains a large windowless recreation room with fireplace, a windowless three-quarter pooper, windowless laundry facilities, and loads of storage space including 4 closets in the recreation room area and a separate bedroom-sized storage room. In a city where space–storage space in particular–can be difficult to come buy, all the storage here is enough to make most New Yorkers seethe with envy.
The entire second floor consists the family’s casual living quarters, one large room with two fireplaces that stretches more than 35 feet front to back with a trio of windows at the front and a sliding door that opens to a 200-square foot roof deck at the back. At the center of the room, a very ordinary but probably expensive sofa is flanked by built-in bookshelves and sits across from a media wall in which all the equipment including a large flat screen have been thoughtfully sunk into cubbies. Whomever is responsible for the floor plan smartly included a wet bar at the back of the second floor with and under counter fridge as well as a half-pooper with window.
The townhouse’s third floor is given over to the master suite that includes a large bedroom with fireplace, custom fitted walk-in closet that is passed through to get to the master pooper that spans the full width of the townhouse and includes a large soaking tub, two sinks, separate shower with window, and a separate cubicle for the terlit.
The fourth and final floor has a sky-lit landing with closet and hall bath, two adequate size bedrooms each with commodious walk in closet. There’s also an itty bitty room marked “bedroom” on the floor plan but it’s a wee small for a proper bedroom in a six million dollar townhouse and besides there’s no closet in the room which means it would make a much better study room for the kiddies, a wee play room, or maybe even a teeny-tiny guest room for over nighters who don’t rank high enough on the pole to warrant getting an actual bedroom.
Listing information indicates the townhouse can legally be used as a bed and breakfast but Your Mama doesn’t know why anyone would even consider such a thing.
listing photos: Corcoran