Today's installment of "Where in the world is....?" should offer a partial response, at least, to many of our most loyal readers and commenters (tlp333, Ashley, Tara, etc.) who have inquired about the Brooklyn, N.Y. home of husband-and-wife actors Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. We can provide details on their Brooklyn house, which they purchased in 2003 for $3,700,000, but we're still looking for details on their house in Stowe, Vermont that they purchased not long ago.
Built in 1899, Bettany and Connelly's 5,243-square-foot house in Brooklyn is at 17 Prospect Park West. Records show that the couple's William & Belinda Shears Trust closed on the property on August 27, 2003, with the deal being recorded on January 23, 2004. (The trust name, we think, may have something to do with the Beatles, given the character's name "Billy Shears" in "Sgt. Pepper's LonelyHearts Club Band.") The house sits on a minuscule, 2,500-square-foot (0.06-acre) parcel, according to public records. As an aside, the couple's money manager, Carolyn Rossip Malcolm, also has had her name on the deeds of plenty of other celebrities' homes, including Ethan Hawke and Lisa Loeb.
Bettany and Connelly's house has some historic value to it. As our faithful commenter Tara helpfully noted earlier this month, another blog reported that Bettany and Connelly's mansion once was owned by the late U.S. Rep. Francis Dorn, who represented Brooklyn in the House from 1953 until 1961.
Records show that in 1989, Dorn's descendants sold the house to the man who sold it to Connelly and Bettany.
After buying the house, Bettany and Connelly suffered "two massive floods that completely trashed the whole kitchen," Connelly told New York magazine in 2005. "Water coming out of the light fixtures. Pipes burst. Twice! They dispatched the fire department.' Even so, Connelly told the magazine that the house has 'a nice backyard and a place for the bicycles."
The following year, New York magazine described the house as being "one of the most beautiful in all of Park Slope. Nestled on a shady corner opposite Prospect Park, it is distinguished without being ostentatious. Its Ionic columns and great arched windows seem typical rather than showy. The garden -- the disrepair of which was once, Park Slope blogger tells me, a cause of consternation for some neighbors -- is now a well-maintained torrent of tulips in varying shades of oxblood, peach, and white."