Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Architectural Oddities: The Mary Tyler Moore Show

I know this is only 40 years late, but whatever. I was recently watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show and noticed something strange about Mary's living arrangements. 

Above is a shot of Mary's apartment building from the opening credits of the second season (That's Mare's car parked in front). If you look closely you'll see a central arched window on the top floor. Behind that window is the cozy little one-room apartment where Mary lived for the first three or four seasons of the series. So far so good.

However, in many episodes, Mary's best friend Rhoda Morgenstern is described as living above Mary. Virtually every week she tells Rhoda to "come on down" to talk, and when she leaves she always says she's going "back upstairs."

So where exactly is Rhoda going?

I'm not seeing any space for another apartment above Mary's. In fact, the real-life owners of the house stated that the "third floor" where Mary supposedly lived was actually an unfinished attic at the time the series was filmed. So unless the attic has its own second attic, I'm not seeing any space for an "upstairs." Maybe Rhoda beds down on the roof? Or perhaps she sleeps vertically in that cone-shaped turret on the right? Or maybe she roosts in one of the trees surrounding the house? No wonder she hangs out in Mary's apartment so much.

Now excuse me while I go stand in the middle of a busy intersection and giddily throw my hat into the air.


  1. Pictures of Rhoda living in a tree fill my head, draw it Bob, DRAW IT! lol

  2. It's a spaceship like the one in The Lodger and the one that is apparently parked on the top of Amy Pond's house. I enjoy your Doctor Who posts and infographics.

  3. Dawn: Maybe Rhoda built a nest out of her head scarves?

    Tonya: Ha ha! "The Lodger" is one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who. It's weird that an episode that plays out like a sitcom turned out to be one of the best in the series.

    Glad you like my work!

  4. Apparently it was actually a crawlspace in the roof. But hey, use your imagination!


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