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Claire Danes Snags NYC Townhouse

BUYER: Claire Danes
LOCATION: New York City, NY
PRICE: $6,876,000
SIZE: 3,166 square feet, 4-5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Property records—along with a helping hand from The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial (C.A.A.)—reveal that on the very same day that Homeland actress Claire Danes sold her nearly 4000 square foot condo-loft in a re-purposed turn of the 19th century building in the heart of New York City’s Soho ‘hood for $5,850,650, she and her British actor hubby Hugh Dancy (Black Hawk Down, The Big C, Hannibal) shelled out $6,876,000 for a late 19th century four story Greek Revival-style townhouse eight or nine blocks north on a narrow, tree-shaded block in the south end of the fully gentrified West Village.

The townhouse seller, according to easily accessible public property records, was David Shaffer, an enormously respected and impressively accomplished psychiatrist who was married to and procreated with famously autocratic Vogue head honcho Anna Wintour in the 1980s and 1990s. Doctor Shaffer, much to his pocketbook’s delight, no doubt, acquired the house, according to property records, in late 1999 for $1,700,000. It is Mister Shaffer who is responsible for all the books and artwork and interestingly placed rugs seen throughout the house in listing photos.

Your Mama managed to dig up a floor plan on Street Easy from when Mister Shaffer unsuccessfully attempted to sell the fully renovated townhouse in 2008 and 2009 with an asking price that started at $8.3 million and plunged to $6,950,000 before it was removed from the market in March 2009. Online documentation shows Mister Shaffer gave it another go in May 2012 when he shoved the tightly sandwiched single family townhouse back up for sale on the open market with an even lower $6,900,000 price tag.

Listing details Your Mama managed to squirrel out of the interweb shows the fairly narrow but quite long townhouse measures in at 3,166 square feet. There are—by our count—4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms. A second floor den/living room could easily be pressed into use as a fifth bedroom.

A claustrophobically compact entry vestibule awkwardly pops open into the simple but well-equipped and expensively finished kitchen end of the loft-like ground floor living space. Listing photos show yellow blond wood floors, a dark carved marble fireplace mantel and a handful of pilasters that, for some reason we just can’t fathom, don’t quite reach the remarkably high ceiling. A towering French door brings a little natural light to the room that connects though to a wee study.

A single double side-lit glass door in the second floor landing marks entry to a large, flexi-use room at the rear of the townhouse that would make a lovely if only semi-private fifth bedroom but is absolutely better suited for use—as Mister Shaffer did—as a sun-splashed library/den complete. Mister Shaffer fitted the room with a wide stretch of floor-to-ceiling book shelves to one side of the marble fireplace. French doors open to a decked terrace with through the tree tops view over the surrounding gardens. A windowless three-quarter bathroom off the high-functioning second floor stair landing is not only the primary powder room for guests but also services the also flexi-use street-side bedroom. The landing also has an inset cluster of book shelves and a closet, the home’s only coat closet that eagle-eyed floor plan readers have already determined must also operate as a busy linen closet for the adjacent bedroom and bathroom.

Each of the two guest/family bedrooms on the third floor are generously proportioned and nicely outfitted with three windows and an attached bathroom. Both, however, suffer some from surprisingly scant closet space. It’s an easily remedied situation but one that any one who owns or travels with a lot of clothing might find a little stifling in its current configuration.

The commodious but (unfortunately) bifurcated master suite spreads across the entire top floor of the townhouse. At the back end a large bedroom benefits from a verdant garden overlook and a substantial, custom-fitted walk-in closet/dressing room. It does not, however, have direct access to a bathroom. For that, according to the floor plan, one must traverse the entire length of the extra-wide but (semi-)public stair landing. Floor plans show a small half bathroom opens directly off the landing and an entirely separate bedroom-sized full bathroom appears to be without a proper door but is none-the-less luxuriously complete with fireplace, soaking tub and couple-sized walk-in shower.

Altogether the bohemian-tinged but decided upscale urban residence boasts three outdoor spaces: the aforementioned courtyard garden off the ground floor living/dining area; the terrace in the tree tops off the second floor library/den; and, the outdoor living pièce de résistance, a roomy roof deck with quintessential over-the-roof top views of the Village.

According to the C.A.A. boys, Miz Danes and Mister Dancy also maintain a semi-remote rural getaway near tiny Hillsdale in the scenic Columbia County, NY that property records show encompasses 4.7 acres and an 1820s era farmhouse that was last purchased in late 2009 for $525,000.

listing photos and floor plan: Douglas Elliman

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