Listing of the Week: Mary Tyler Moore house
The Victorian home in Minneapolis where the 1970s TV sitcom exteriors were filmed is listed for $2.895 million. When the owners hung out 'Impeach Nixon' signs, Mary moved to a high-rise.
If you’re of a certain age, you may remember the “Mary Tyler Moore Show,” a sitcom about a young single woman striking out on her own in the wilds of Minneapolis.
Mary Richards, the fictional character, took the daring step – at least it was seen as daring in 1970 – to rent an apartment BY HERSELF. It was a studio, with a sofa bed and a tiny kitchen but also a fireplace, high ceilings and a big Palladian window, on the third floor of a rambling Victorian house.
Phyllis Lindstrom, her landlord, lived downstairs and Rhoda Morgenstern, who became her best friend, had the attic apartment above -- though in the real house the third floor was the attic. The home where the exterior scenes were filmed, which is now a 9,500-square-foot single-family home in Minneapolis’ Kenwood neighborhood, is for sale for $2.895 million.
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The house has been remodeled considerably since the daring Mary Richards was filmed in front in the early 1970s (you can see a few photos at Hooked on Houses). Like many movie homes, the interior of Mary’s apartment was created on a soundstage in California. But the home was divided into apartments back then.
Since the 1970s, the home has been substantially remodeled and enlarged, though it retains a number of period touches, such as elegant woodwork and those trademark windows. The house has seven bedrooms and nine baths, and is on about one-third of an acre. It has an enormous gourmet kitchen that opens to the family room and is considerably larger than Mary’s entire apartment.
In case you’ve forgotten what Mary’s apartment looked like -- the show ended in 1977 though it lived on for years in reruns -- Julia at Hooked on Houses has lots of photos.
Mary moved a few years into the show, after the producers had an argument with the owner of the house, who erected "Impeach Nixon" banners outside the front windows to thwart filming. Mary and Rhoda both "moved up" to a high-rise.
Records say the house was built in 1900, though articles in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune say it was built in 1892. The current owners bought the house in 2007 for $2.9 million, discounted from a $3.6 million listing price.
Zillow points us to a New York Times article from 1995 about a couple who bought the house in the late '80s without realizing what a tourist attraction it was, more than a decade after the show ended. In fact, they had never seen the show. Back then, they told The Times, the home drew 30 tour buses a day in summer, and people often posed for photos on the lawn.
"In some ways, it's like we're caretakers living inside a monument," Evan Maurer, who was then the director of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, told The Times. "Mary is a myth, but myths have great power. They answer questions, and they set up value systems. There's something in the Mary ethos that's very important to very many people. She's the greatest mythic hero from this region since Paul Bunyan."
The show was terrible
Apparently Mary was a free spirit, trying to make a mark for herself. So, why the bloody hell did she call her boss " MR. Grant, yet he called her Mary?
Something to think about.
I remember that house... Didn't it have shaggy carpet?
Did she ever get her hat back?
You can't beat Victorian architecture! In those days, houses were not merely "built." They were CRAFTED. They were WORKS OF ART. Another good one (though not Victorian) is the Gamble House in Pasadena...best known as Dr. Emmett Brown's mansion in the "Back to the Future" trilogy.
Nowadays? Forget it! Today's houses are made of PARTICLE BOARD; which, in the heat and humidity of Rhode Island summers (and cold, wet winters) will likely disntegrate in about 20 years.
Even wose, you see these dummies on "House Hunter" shows who are obsessed with change-for-its-own-sake. The kitchen cabinets ae in perfect condition, nice and sturdy, but they say, "This is SOOOO five years ago! It needs updating!"
and the really nice part of this article?
When I clicked on the link to the photos of Mary Richard's apartment in the article -- my virus scanned detected a rogue scanner threat, and blocked the page from loading!
Way to go MSN!!!!
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.