Actress Ellen Barkin has been making the rounds lately, talking about, among other things, her town house on West 12th Street in Manhattan’s West Village that she purchased in May 2006 for $7.5 million.
On May 13, Barkin discussed her town house in an interview with Parade magazine. And on May 10, the New York Post’s fine celebrity real estate writer Braden Keil wrote a small column item about some comments that actress Ellen Barkin had made in the June issue of More magazine about the West Village town house that she purchased last year after being forcefully removed from ex-husband Ron Perelman’s mansion at 36 East 63rd Street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The June issue of More now is out at newsstands everywhere. Of her town house, Barkin told the magazine, “It’s beautiful, but I’d rather have an apartment, quite frankly. I don’t like being responsible for a house. I don’t want to shovel snow. I want to pick up the phone and say, ‘My bathroom is leaking’ and hang up.” Barkin also told the magazine, “I’m a New Yorker. I wouldn’t care if I never saw a tree again in my life. I was thinking last year, maybe I should garden. And then I thought, nah.”
For whatever reason, Barkin hasn’t told any magazine yet just why she went ahead and bought the town house if she’d rather live in an apartment.
The writer of the article also noted that Barkin “loves this section of the West Village. It’s the same neighborhood in which she has lived on and off since she was 18 years old.”
However, in the interviews, Barkin, 53, has said nothing about the historic pedigree of the three-story brownstone, which had been listed for $8 million. So, we’re happy to add a bit on the subject. Built in 1841, the 20-foot-wide Greek Revival town house is written about at length in the book “Touring Gotham’s Archaeological Past: 8 Self-Guided Walking Tours Through New York City.” Barkin’s town house was in private hands until 1981, when it was sold to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. The exclusive architecture, fine arts and engineering school then sold the town house for $2.6 million in 2002 to Joseph Bae, a managing director at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, who initiated an extensive renovation and restoration of the house. The work included a 20-foot-deep extension to the rear of the house, designed by Chinese-born architect I.M. Pei. Other features in the town house include a finished basement and an outdoor stainless-steel kitchen area, according to a news article from March 2006, when the town house went under contract to Barkin.
Last year, Bae was transferred to KKR’s Hong Kong office, and he sold the house to Barkin’s trust, which has the house’s address in it and whose trustee is an individual named Mario Testani, according to public records.
Unfortunately, no photos are available online of the house. When we find a good shot of it, we’ll post it here.