Madonna Buys UES Townhouse for $40 Million

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There is the general problem that Mercy James appears to be twice the size of the townhouse. Photo: Reuters

Late yesterday, in her continuing effort to prove to the world (if not to Malawi authorities) that she's the perfect mother for orphan Mercy James, Madonna released a picture of her holding the young girl. They do look cute together, don't they? (Though perhaps Madge shouldn't have airbrushed herself to look quite so young — surely Malawi has enough teen mothers to go around.) The other evidence that comes to light this morning about the wonderful life she will be able to provide for the girl is news that the pop star has signed a $40 million contract on a gorgeous, "London-style" townhouse on the Upper East Side. And boy, is it the home of a little orphan's dreams.

The double-wide townhouse features:

• Thirteen bedrooms and fourteen bathrooms.
• A 3,000-square-foot private garden in back.
• A two-car garage.
• An elevator for the four floors.
• Nine fireplaces.
• A wine celler and grotto.

One has to wonder what was wrong with her Central Park West home, which she battled for the right to expand and renovate for several years. She'll remain there while extensive restructuring goes on in the new place (hello, there's no gym yet). Some real-estate gossipmongers snipe that you can feel the Lexington Avenue subway line when it passes underneath the townhouse, and that the location on 81st between Third and Lex is too far east to be glamorous. But hello. It's going to become glamorous now. Lourdes is moving in!

MADONNA MANOR [NYP]