Jessica Chastain, who will next appear in “Dark Phoenix,” the 12th installment of the X-Men film franchise, has substantially up-sized and upgraded her residential circumstances with the $8.875 million purchase of a historic brownstone superbly located in New York City’s Upper West Side. Chastain and her husband, Italian fashion executive Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, married just about two years ago, scored a multimillion dollar discount on the late 19th-century confection that first came up for sale in late 2017 with a pie-in-the-sky price of $12.5 million and, as noted by the property gossips at the Wall Street Journal, the first to catch wind of the transaction, was last listed on the open market earlier this year with Paula Del Nunzio at Brown Harris Stevens at a still too optimistic $11.5 million. Designed by the illustrious architecture firm Neville & Bagge and built in the early 1890s in a grandiose Renaissance Revival-style that incorporates Gothic and Romanesque flourishes, the just over 6,600 square foot urban manse has upwards of seven bedrooms plus five full and two half bathrooms sprinkled throughout its six floors, all serviced by an elevator.
Extravagantly detailed parlor floor living and dining rooms are carefully preserved and feature an intricately carved wood staircase, original wall paneling and plaster ceiling moldings so boisterously ornate some might call them gaudy. An unexpectedly modern, double-height extension houses a window-lined atrium and staircase that connects the parlor floor to a thoroughly contemporary eat-in kitchen that overlooks a slightly and pleasantly untamed private garden. The top two floors of the townhouse take another surprising, even disarming architectural left turn. Gone are the flamboyant embellishments of more than a century ago and in their place a pared-down Japanese aesthetic takes over. Arranged around a double-height atrium flooded with natural light through a gigantic skylight are two en suite bedrooms along with a couple of studios or potential bedrooms enclosed by rice paper shoji screens. There is also what the listing details describe as “a Japanese shower and steeping hot tub” plus a sauna.
The twice Oscar-nominated “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Help” star, who has more than half a dozen high-profile projects in various stages of production, including serving as a producer and portraying the titular role in the upcoming biopic “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” based on a 2000 documentary of the same name, leaves behind a sprawling apartment in an iconic Midtown apartment house with a long and illustrious history of showbiz residents. Acclaimed actresses Shirley Booth, Sylvia Miles and Lynn Redgrave all lived in the building, as did novelist, playwright and screenwriter Ira Levin, pianist Van Cliburn and cabaret legend Bobby Short, who lived for more than a dozen years in the very same apartment once occupied by composer Leonard Bernstein and now owned by Chastain, who scooped it up in 2015 for $5.1 million.