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Mary Richard’s House: Touring The Real Mary Tyler Moore House

When I was growing up, one of my fave television shows was The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was just 13 years old when it first aired. I think every young girl back then wanted to grow up to be just like Mary. She was beautiful, had her own apartment, cute clothes and an exciting career–all very important stuff when you’re 13. :)

Cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show

 

Do you remember Mary’s “M” on the wall in her small studio apartment?

Letter M on Mary's Wall in The Mary Tyler Moore Show

(Screen shot from You Tube where you can watch lots of old MTM shows)

 

When we got married and moved into our first apartment in married student housing, I had to put an “S” on the wall, just like Mary.  You can just see it over on the left wall in the kitchen of our teeny apartment.  If you missed that old post where I gave a tour of our first little apartment, you’ll find it here: Humble Beginnings in Married Student Housing

Living in Married Student Housing

 

Recently, I came across some photos of the “apartment building” where Mary was supposed to be living in the show. Over the years while the show ran on TV, we only got glimpses of the outside from time to time. You could see just a small part of it in the opening scenes of the show each week.

The real home shown in those opening credits is actually a wonderful, old Victorian home built in 1892, located in Minneapolis Minnesota. Fortunately in real life, the home has never been cut up into different apartments and has always remained a single family residence. I was glad to hear that. I hate to see old homes turned into apartments.

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

In the show, Mary’s apartment was supposed to be in the attic area where you see the big Palladian window and balcony. As in the case of most shows, filming didn’t actually take place inside the home. Instead, a set was built to mimic what one would have expected to see on the inside.

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

When creating the set, they included the beautiful windows. You can just see them in the background in this scene I found in an episode on You Tube. In one episode with Phyllis, Mary’s landlord , we learn that Mary is renting her apartment for $145 a month. That sounds about right for the 70’s.

Mary Richard's Studio Apartment

 

The real home is huge with over 9,500 square feet of living space! It went on the market back in January of last year so I found several pictures online to share.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show House

 

One article I read said the home had been substantially remodeled and enlarged since the 1970’s but many of the period features had been preserved like the woodwork and the windows.

As you step onto the front porch/room, here’s what you see. I can’t help but think when the home was originally built, this must have been a real porch and someone must have glassed it in at some point. Wish folks wouldn’t do that to porches on the front of a home. I like front porches to remain porches…just a personal preference.

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

Here’s the entry with a gorgeous staircase, just look at all that beautiful wood! The white walls keep the home from feeling dark, even with all the stained trim and molding.

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

This is the actual room behind those “famous” windows we saw on TV all those years. Nothing like Mary’s apartment, is it?

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

The living room is furnished a bit too modern for my taste but still a lovely room.

House Where The Mary Tyler Moor Show Was Filmed

 

The kitchen…I love how the refrigerator is hidden. Look at all that space!

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

Another view of the beautiful kitchen…

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

Huge dining room! Love the coffered ceiling and the built-in china cabinets. I wonder how the fireplace looked, back in the day?  I think it’s been “modernized” over the years.

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

Staircase landing with beautiful stained-glass windows.

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

One of the bedrooms on the upper level…love all the windows!

House Where The Mary Tyler Moor Show Was Filmed

 

Another bedroom…wonder if all the flooring upstairs is original?

House Where The Mary Tyler Moor Show Was Filmed

 

This may be the master bedroom. Wow, what a beautiful, light-filled room!

House Where The Mary Tyler Moore Show Was Filmed

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to buy a house made famous because it was featured in a much-loved show or movie? Apparently, it can be a bit nerve-racking and annoying.

When the home was purchased in 1988 by the Maurer’s, the family that just sold it, their realtor mentioned the show had appeared in the opening credits of each episode of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. The Maurer’s had never seen the show and didn’t think anything about it.

Oh. My. Gosh! The stories they tell in THIS article from the New York Times are pretty funny. They had no idea what they were getting themselves into! It mentions in the article that when working in the yard, if people stopped and began asking Mr. Mauer questions, he would pretend to be the groundskeeper and act like he knew nothing. Apparently, one of the questions he often got asked was if the “M” was still hanging on the wall? That sounds like something I would have asked! :)

Here’s a quote from Mr. Maurer in the article:
“In some ways, it’s like we’re caretakers living inside a monument,” Mr. Maurer said. “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.”

Yep, it will always be Mary’s house, no matter who lives there!

You can see additional photos of this home at Zillow and HGTV Front Door where these pictures were found.




Comments

  1. If that is not the master bedroom, it should be. I love it.

    Off topic. We lost Shirley Temple Black today at the age of 85. Lovely child, lovely adult.

  2. Neat, neat, neat! I was about 4 years older than you when I watched it…great show!

  3. I’m not a fan of closing in front porches either, although I imagine in some instances without a screen it really isn’t a practical space. The furnishings don’t suit this style home at all. They look like they belong in a Lloyd Wright home, not a Victorian. I enjoy all styles of furnishings, and I’ve always said to let the house tell you what it needs. Apparently these owners weren’t listening ;).

    Being a few years older than you, I remember that show only too well. Thank you for doing the research and showing us what the history is behind it. Very cool!

    • I love that philosophy Doreen…letting the home tell you what it needs!

    • I agree with you! One of the most wonderful things about owning a Victorian home, is being able to put in Victorian period furniture and items….and, they are still easy to find! I am not a trendy/clean lines type of person anyway, but if someone is, there are plenty of homes that are suited for that style of furnishings and decor.

  4. Oh my gosh, I loved this show when I was a child! We watched it every week. We visited Minneapolis once, and there’s a Mary Tyler Moore statue downtown. I insisted that my husband take a picture of me standing next to it. But he’d never watched the show and really didn’t get it. Oh well, he’s used to my goofy ways. Great post, loved seeing the real inside!

  5. One of my favorite shows. I too wanted to be Mary! I always pictured Rhoda living above Mary, but it seems like there’s not a floor above her apartment. I’ve got a weird thing about tv houses on the inside not quite matching the outside. Like they have a floor plan that couldn’t possibly exist.

  6. You DID grow up to be like Mary!
    I loved the show too! That was before entertainers felt they needed to share their political views with us. TMI ,imho. :)

  7. Oh I loved the Mary Tyler Moore show and her cute apartment. I had to grin when I saw the M because I always think of that show when I see initials on walls of homes pinned on Pinterest!

    The show was a hoot. Such clever lines.

    Thanks for the tour, and I agree, the furniture is a little too modern for my taste but the house itself is beautiful.

  8. I love your posts on amazing homes, always look forward to more!!

  9. Golly girl – you’re just a youngster! I always thought of Mary Richards life as one that I would have loved but I chose marriage and children and a big old 1925 house. I wouldn’t trade the kids for anything, and I still like the house even tho I moved to another home in 1987. The Victorian house is gorgeous! As for as the mid-century looking furniture and decor goes all I have to say is, to each there own. But the house itself is beautiful.

  10. Beautiful home. I love everything about it. Enjoyed your pictures of student housing also. Brought back memories of my daughter and husband in student housing at the University of Georgia.
    Do you still have power or has the ice hit? We in the midwest feel your pain, we’re buried in snow, but no ice.
    Stay warm and thanks for sharing!

    • Still have power right now…the ice today wasn’t too awful and the temps got high enough to melt it. But the REALLY BAD stuff comes into metro ATL around 3AM. They say it will be epic, the worst ice storm we’ve had in a decade. They def have me worried. :( I’d much rather have your snow right now.

  11. I loved this show then and now. I was about 10 when it first came on – and LOVED Mary’s apartment and exciting career! THANK YOU for the lovely home tour – although it is nothing like the apartment, it’s beautiful inside and out. (Also thanks for the link to the NYT article – what a hoot!) A couple random thoughts: I wonder if any sketches or floorplans exist of the layout of the TV version of the apartment and it’s various rooms. It had the living room, kitchen, and platform dining area… there had to have been a bathroom… and I think the living room doubled as Mary’s bedroom with a hide-a-bed sofa. There was also a closet off the dining area. Although I loved the entire run of the show, I always felt like it lost something after Mary moved to her newer high-rise apartment. The new place just didn’t have the charm of the old… although Mary was most certainly entitled to an enclosed bedroom for all her years of toiling under Mr. Grant! LOL

    • Yep, the sofa was her bed. I know where the closet was but not sure about the bath. One episode I saw part of today showed her soaking in a tub, but it didn’t show you where the bathroom was in relation to the rest of the apartment. They so rarely showed her in the bathroom, they may not have really had it in a certain place, maybe just created a different room for it on the set. I agree, I was disappointed with the new place. It was nice she was moving up but it totally didn’t have the same charm. I guess they were trying to show Mary was the modern, hip woman of the 70’s.

  12. I too loved the Mary Tyler Moore show. I love this Victorian home. I agree, the furniture didn’t go with the style of the home at all. I did hear about the passing today of Shirley Temple Black. As a child I was obsessed with her. In fact I have most of her films on DVD. She was an amazing actor. Thanks for the house tour. This home is so beautiful!

  13. The problem with that modern furniture that looks like 50/60’s style is that it’s so angular. It doesn’t speak comfortable to me at all.
    A house up the road to us was once owned by a very famous film director. People still knock on the door and ask if he’s at home, even though he’s been dead for over ten years. I wonder how they can be such fans that they will go and knock on the door and yet they fail to know their idol is dead?

  14. love it would be such a cool experience I would love to have had the chance since I was like you and watched this show for so many years

  15. I think they completely ruined the character of this house by enclosing the porches and modernizing the kitchen to the extent that it’s been done. Why don’t people who want these things just build a new house! Have some respect for the history of the house. That’s it, enough ranting, but I loved the Mary Tyler Moore show! :-)

  16. You have brought back some wonderful memories, I had not thought about that show for a long time it was one of my all time favorites unfortunately I did not appreciate decorating at that time. Now that you have given the tour , wow….what a beautiful home! The show jingle is humming in my mind…sweet memories, thank you for sharing Lisa@ Sweet Tea N’ Salty Air

  17. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Wow, Susan! Great find. I too loved the Mary Tyler Moore show and that gorgeous apartment. I even liked Rhoda’s teeny little flat upstairs from her (remember how awful Phylis was to Rhoda? :( ) I remember loving the couple of stairs Mary would have to step down to go into her sunken living room. :D And her clothes, my gosh .. she was only bested by Doris Day, who though a ‘lowly secretary’ must have had a budget in the thousands for her clothing. :D Ahhh … good times, fun memories. What a gorgeous house. I normally prefer painted woodwork, but in those types of grand old houses, it looks so majestic stained like that.

    Thanks for sharing this and taking us down memory lane. :)

  18. Peggy Thal says:

    Loved seeing Mary’s Apartment(Home). What a great Victorian . Such great bones. Not so fond of the decor. Thank you for the tour.

  19. I really enjoyed this post, Susan! I love, love, love the Mary Tyler Moore Show!! Our whole family used to watch it faithfully every week when I was growing up; my dad thought Lou and Ted were so funny. :-D I have to say that I find it hard to believe that the Maurers had never seen or heard of this show (were they living under a rock?) :-D

    I never realized so many people made pilgrimages to see that house every year — that’s pretty amazing. That show, and Mary’s apartment, will always hold a special place in my memories. Thanks for sharing.

    Denise

  20. I was 13 too when I watched Mary. I loved the sunken living room in her apartment. I always wanted one and before we met my husband purchased a townhouse with a sunken living room! Mary was the ultimate career girl, yet traditional and independent; a true role model. Thanks much for this house tour. The house is gorgeous but I have to agree with an earlier comment that much of the furniture doesn’t fit the Victorian style. The macrame plant holder brings back memories of the 1970s too.

  21. Well, what a coincidence, I just finished watching that program. It is on every night here on the *oldies* channel, so I am not going to say how old I was when I watched it!! :) Do you have E.S.P. Susan?? :) “Rhoda” follows it and it is sad to know how ill Valerie Harper is.
    The house is lovely, I wonder where Rhoda’s room was supposed to be if Mary’s was in the attic because she always went upstairs??
    Speaking of t.v. houses, not sure if you have ever watched Doc Martin set in Cornwall, England. P.B.S. channel. Well, we were there last year and took photos of the house, there is a cordon across the front of the house saying it is Private Property. I guess the owners are fed up with all the visitors as they are still filming episodes now.
    Thanks for finding all these houses for us Susan, I just love it!!

  22. Excellent post, so very interesting. I LOOOOOVED the Mary Tyler Moore show. In fact I even kinda thought of her (our first awesome independent successful woman role model who kept her innocence) when I remarried and went with my old last name as my new middle name. : – )

    Funny the new owners weren’t familiar with something so familiar to us. I am an M.M and I have an M too!!

    I love you have a pic of your yellow letter. : – ) That’s so cute.

    Hey, posted some happy news today. ♥

  23. Maryse d'Argence says:

    De merveilleuses photos, des décorations comme je les aime.
    Il est dommage que je ne puisse avoir la traduction en français, j’aurais aimé pouvoir lire tes commentaires. (je ne comprends pas l’anglais).
    Reçois les amitiés d’une française

    • Je ne suis pas sûr de savoir comment offrir cela. Je pense que si vous utilisez le navigateur Chrome, lorsque vous visitez un blog, il vous proposera automatiquement de traduire la page pour vous. Êtes-vous actuellement d’utiliser Chrome comme navigateur? Si pas, vous pouvez le télécharger et de l’essayer. Lorsque je visite une page écrite dans une autre langue, Chrome va normalement me demander si je veux la page traduite. Je clique sur oui et il le traduit instantanément. Essayez cela et voir si cela fonctionne. J’espère que nous pourrons trouver une solution. Étreintes!

  24. Oh, I loved Mary Tyler Moore & watched every Sat. night while babysitting! It’s funny, but looking at these pictures of her studio, I can see how it influenced my developing decorating style! I didn’t realize why I felt so proud when I bought a baker’s rack to use for plants or where the idea for skirted tables and French country (White!!) ladder backs must have sprung. I even have an A now, although it’s propped on my built-ins, not hung on the wall. Thanks, Susan, for a lovely stroll down Memory Lane. And stay warm & safe down there during our latest winter event! We’re hunkered down here in Charlotte, wood heater, flashlights & bottled water ready.

  25. Hi, It’s the morning of the 12th and watching the weather report. We are in Michigan and have had snow and cold in record breaking amounts, but this morning I am so worried about you. Do you have power? Are you okay?

    • Thanks, Kathy…you are so sweet to think of me. So far, I still do. I think we’re supposed to get more ice today so keeping my fingers crossed it continues to stay on. XO

      • pam ~ crumpety cottagae says:

        Susan, I wish you’d just post a quick ‘I’m okay” once in a while if all is well. The weather report sounded so ominous for your area and I’ve been thinking, if we don’t hear from her for a few days, we’ll know her power is off. I hope you have a back up plan if that happens. The ice storm I mentioned above left the people on the street behind me and in many areas of my town without heat or electricity for 10 + days!!! Not trying to scare you, but please have a back up plan. Of course, that was 20 years ago, (February 4, 1994) so I’m hoping city wide preparedness is better than it was then. Stay warm, my friend.

        • Don’t worry, Pam. I have a gas fireplace in my living room and plenty of food. Many years ago we had an ice storm and had no heat for 3 days. I almost died of boredom but not from lack of heat. :) So don’t worry…you are sweet though to be worried! XO

          • pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

            Well we are good pals, after all. ;)

            I’ve been checking your weather and you’re in the thick of it right now. If it doesn’t accumulate too much, it looks like it should be gone by tomorrow lunch time due to the temperature climbing up above freezing. I’m glad you’re prepared. Who knew you had to be ready for ice storms in Georgia!! Being such a good scout has it’s benefits though, you’ll be the most popular lady in town with a backyard full of critters visiting their tiny hot tub. :D

  26. I too feel a homeowner should respect a home’s heritage. The modern additions are just wrong. Except for the kitchen of course. I’m not particularly excited about cooking on a coal or wood burning stove for authenticity’s sake.

    I came across this web site that shows the layout of some of the apartments from popular TV shows. Friends and Lucy yes. Alas no Mary.

    http://freshome.com/2013/04/01/10-floor-plans-of-the-most-famous-tv-apartments-in-the-world/

  27. bobbi duncan says:

    Thanks for the memories, Susan. A fav of mine, too. I agree, no enclosed front porches, and I like to see furniture that mimics the style of the home for a more cohesive appearance. Something I notice quite often with TV shows or movies is, no matter how small the places are, they usually have these great windows. Windows are my number one thing when it comes to houses. I’ve had houses built around the window ideas. Even if we get that wonderful little cottage–which I wish we had now so I wouldn’t have to clean as much–we want beautiful windows– some with window seats, one walk-out bay for the xmas tree, and lots in the kitchen. I love to feel like I am outside even if I am not. Ah, to dream. Thanks for always finding these great places to share. By the way, the once John Lennon house I mentioned before is Poplar Grove, on 351 acres on the East River in Mathews County. I’ll check with some friends in the Tidewater area and see if I can share pics of their homes, which are really quite something. I love to look at big historic homes , mainly because of all the beautiful architectural details, but we are cottage/ cozy type people at heart, and, hey, you can put all those nice details in small houses as well. Just wish we could afford their magnificent water views.

  28. Hi, Susan,
    OMG, I want this house! Honestly, as I saw each picture, I drooled even more. I wouldn’t decorate it the way it is done, but the room sizes and architectural details are to die for! Thank you for sharing! And thank you for bringing wonderful memories of the MTM show to mind. I never missed it and really felt that those characters were my extended family: I laughed when they laughed; I cried when they cried; I wanted a best friend just like Rhoda! I still remember the last scene of the last show when Mary gave the newsroom one last look and turned off the light. In fact, when I retired from teaching, I did the exact same thing when I closed the door on my classroom for the last time: my homage to Mary Tyler Moore! Please stay safely inside: the news reports about this southern storm look very ominous. Take care.
    Rosie

  29. All I can say is “wow”! What a beautiful home. The kitchen is wonderful, but my favorite room is the master bedroom with the stained glass at the top of the windows. I agree that enclosing the porch changes the look. Many large homes up north have an enclosed front porch because it helps minimize the cold air that comes in when the front door is opened. I found this out after a holiday in Burlington, Vermont in the winter (it was Christmas). Lovely, lovely home! I’m so glad you posted it.

  30. Oh goodness you have stirred up some memories! I always watched the MTM show while babysitting and I adored the M as well! I loved her wall grouping. I sure did go back and look at your first nest. Very similar to my first nest with my husband. I told my daughter when she got married how lucky she was to be able to pull off a look with less expense with stores like Target, TJ Maxx and similar. We just didn’t have those in the 70’s. It was all hand me down. I had a pole lamp too…bought it with S & H green stamps my mother in law gave me.
    Hope your weather isn’t as bad as they are predicting. Here in Memphis we got enough ice this morning to make morning commutes awful! Glad I could stay at home.! Thank goodness it melted!

  31. Wow! This is fantastic! Thank you so much for posting it. Brought back great memories and the house is still amazing. What a great smile to add to the day!

  32. What a wonderful post, Susan. I absolutely loved that show! I currently have several “M”s on my own walls and I now wonder if I’m subsconsciously trying to be Mary.

    Please be careful in that nasty weather.

  33. I watched it in my upper teens, then went out to be “Mary” (my real name, too!) even with the “M” on my wall. Career woman, apartment, all of it I lived for a few years – happy memories. Loved that show, still love MTM. Thanks so much for getting pictures of the real house, it’s fascinating!
    Mary

  34. I live about an hour from Minneapolis/St. Paul but I have never went to see the house that was always showed at the beginning of the show. I do know they interviewed the owners of this home and they told of all the people that have come to their door wanting to see her apartment! I love Mary Tyler Moore. I always wanted to be Mary Richards. I always wanted to live in her apartment. I always wanted a job like Mary Richards. I thought for sure I was going to be like her! Did you know that in downtown Minneapolis there is a bronze statue of Mary Tyler Moore where she threw her hat? It is pretty fun to stand by and remember. We have taken several MTM fans there to get their picture taken!

  35. What a glorious house! Thanks so much for a peek at its history and for the tour. Shan’t admit to you the age I was; when I faithfully watched the show.
    Changing the subject, do hope you weren’t one of the 200,000 left without electricity during Atlanta’s more recent ice storm. Checked the temps for your area and realize you experienced one before but some advice from this Canadian northerner; if using just your fireplace for heat try to block off the rooms that you are not going to use by closing their doors so as to retain the heat in your living/activity space. Also, be sure to have plenty of fresh flash light batteries on hand for quick replacement (and use caution when using candles). STAY SAFE Susan. Am thinking about you. -Brenda-
    P.S: Regardless how many layers of clothing I might put on and the number of ice storms I’ve been through, I usually find it is around the 4th day the cold seems to work into my bones so I often resort to using what we call ‘warm ups’. They are self-heating activated pads that usually one slips inside their clothing for outdoor use (mittens and boots) and can last up to a period of five to eight hours. Particularly toasty when sleeping! If you can’t get them in the South, I would gladly send a ‘compliments of me’ batch of them to you for your arsenal of ice storm emergency supplies. Just let me know. (Shelf life is about two years in an open package.)

  36. Oh Susan, I never missed a show Mary did in NYC, my home town too, they were great!!! Your post brought so many wonderful memories of time past. The house is fabulous too, but I loved her apartment and I used to dream…”When I’m old enough I want to move to the City and have an apartment like Mary’s” …lol. I did, but in LA…hehehehhhheeee…
    Happy Valentine’s sweet lady,
    Love,
    FABBY
    PS: I don’t know why my typing is so pale!

    • The tech guy who does work on my blog from time to time made a change recently and apparently it also effected the font color. I need to ask him about that. I know what you mean about it being pale.
      Yep, I think we all wanted to be Mary. :)

  37. Ok, after I sent it, it got black!

    Fabby

  38. Thanks for the memories of a wonderful show with such talented people.
    I believe the “object high on the wall ” is a ductless air conditioner/heater. Good choice to retrofit an old house, especially such a large one.

  39. Karin Hamann says:

    So interesting to see the inside of this beautiful old home. My son and 3 friends rented the apartment on the 2nd floor of a home just a few houses down after they graduated from St. Olaf College. When my husband and I went to visit him, the boys pointed out the house, and told us it was the Mary Tyler Moore house. My husband and I took a walk to see the house “up close”. It is a beauty! Thanks for sharing the inside.

  40. Well a little late to the party…
    But one episode gave me the impression that it was a walk-through closet leading to the bath.
    Anyone else remember that?

  41. Juanita in OH says:

    What a wonderful surprise! I LOVED the MTM Show and the show when she was married to Dick Van Dyke(I’m not sure about the spelling of his last name). This house lights up my heart, it is gorgeous. TFS the photos and the stories about the house and The Maurer’s Home.

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