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Photo Tours, Travelogues, And Random Topics

Mary Tyler Moore Locations

A Photo Tour Of Mary Tyler Moore
TV Show Locations In The Twin Cities Area

Introduction Vintage TV show episodes are a big fad at the moment. When DVD's became popular, collectors exchanged TV show episodes via mail attempting to get full sets of episodes for a given TV series. Now, official DVD releases have put this hobby into high gear. I have been bitten by the bug, too, having watched each episode of MASH, Dallas, Rockford Files, Emergency!, Star Trek, and now, I am watching Mary Tyler Moore.

Many major Midwestern cities have had their TV show over the years. Milwaukee had Happy Days, Chicago had Bob Newhart and Good Times, Dallas had Dallas, and here in the Twin Cities, it was Mary. Here is a photo tour of some of the locations that show up in the Mary Tyler Moore show.

Note—click on each photo to see the full size image.

Mary Tyler Moore House This is the house where Mary Richards lived. In the show, it was given as 119 N Weatherly Ave, Apt D. In reality, the home is located at 2104 Kenwood Ave. Kenwood Ave is a very high end neighborhood, and it is unlikely that the Mary character could have afforded to live there.

The owner of this home, a university professor, grew tired of the traffic and attention, so he tried to end his relationship with the show. MTM was not anxious to change the story. To encourage MTM to move on, the professor put up "Impeach Nixon" signs at the home in 1973. As a result, Mary Richards moved to an apartment in 1975.

Location: 2104 Kenwood Parkway. There is no easy way to find this location. Take the Hennepin Ave exit south from I-94, go west on Franklin, then west on 21st Ave.

Mary Tyler Moore Lake Mary Richards is seen strolling along a lake during the theme and credits. That is the Lake Of The Isles, one of a number of lakes in a chain that runs through Minneapolis as a ancient channel of the Mississippi River. It is hard to tell exactly where Mary was, so this is a representative photo of the area. While it looks cold and frosty, this area is heavily used in winter.

Location: Lake Of The Isles. Take Lake Street west from I-35W, then north on East Calhoun Parkway or Dean Parkway to Lake Of The Isles Parkway (which circles the lake).

Mary Tyler Moore Riverside Towers In 1975, Mary Tyler Moore left her exclusive Kenwood pad for a new upscale high-rise apartment in the Riverside Towers. The key features of these towers were the bright multicolor panels on the building that was supposed to cheer up and inspire people.

The reality is that much of the 14 tower urban village never materialized. Today, the buildings are rundown, shabby, and infested with gangs. It is a modern urban ghetto that the locals call the 'crack stack'.

Location: Northeast corner of I-94 and I-35W interchange in Minneapolis, take the Cedar Ave exit from I-94.

Mary Tyler Moore IDS Center Mary Tyler Moore Crystal Court Mary is shown shopping on Nicollet Ave in downtown Minneapolis. She is right next to the IDS Crystal Court, part of the IDS Center, which includes the IDS Tower, the first modern skyscraper in the city. The Crystal Court is part mall, part food court, and an indoor urban park. Today, most people walk the skyways that connect all of the downtown buildings rather than risking running into the homeless and drifters that live at street level.

Location: IDS Center, Nicollet Ave and 7th Street in downtown Minneapolis.

Mary Tyler Moore Basils Mary Richards is shown having lunch with a friend during the opening theme. That friend is Grant Tinker, Mary Tyler Moore's real life husband. The restaurant is called Basil's today, and has been for about 10 years. I don't recall any of the past names, but they sure remember Mary. In fact, you can reserve the Mary table if you call in advance.

Location: Basil's Restaurant, IDS Center, 7th and Nicollet.

Mary Tyler Moore High Rise Mary Tyler Moore High Rise When the Mary Tyler Moore TV show cuts to a scene at WJM Channel 12, they often show the outside of a tall skyscraper. In the show, this is the Snyder Building. In real life, it is the Midwest Federal Savings And Loan, located on the next block south of the IDS Center on Nicollet Mall. Built in 1969, it rises up 275 feet high supporting 20 stories.

Midwest Federal went bankrupt during the S&L fiasco in the late 1980's, and was taken over by Resolution Trust. The building itself was renamed Midwest Plaza, and is leased to a mixed group of tenants. Twenty stories was big for the Twin Cities in 1969, but in 2006, there are some 38 buildings taller than Midwest Plaza. The skyway level now contains a Barnes & Nobel Bookseller, and the excellent 8th Street Bar and Grille is located at ground level. Given all the new buildings, it is nearly impossible to find a location to photograph the building, at least from street level.

A blooper that has been pointed out by MTM fans is in episode 149, Ted's Change Of Heart. The WJM crew is shown looking out the newsroom windows at the sunset. The only problem is that the cut-away shots at Mary's office show the newsroom windows on the east side of the building.

Location: Midwest Plaza, 801 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Mary Tyler Moore Statute Here is the famous statute of Mary Richards tossing her hat, a scene that ends the opening theme of the television show. The statute was donated by TV Land cable TV network. It is located on Nicollet Mall, the pedestrian mall that takes the place of Nicollet Ave in downtown Minneapolis. Mary is located at the southwest corner of 7th and Nicollet, across the street from the IDS Center.

In the background, at 700 Nicollet Ave, is Marshall Fields. Until recently, this was the flagship store in the Dayton's chain. Daytons became Target, and now focuses on Target Stores, so it sold off the department stores. In the show, this store is known as Hemples Department Store, where Rhoda works as a window dresser.

Location: 7th and Nicollet, downtown Minneapolis.

Mary Tyler Moore Basils On the intro for season #1, Mary is shown driving her Mustang down several twin cities freeways. While few of the locations are distinguishable, one shot shows a tall building in the background that has two white towers on the end. That is the Radisson South hotel in Bloomington and Edina. The building still exists today, but it is now a Sheraton. The hotel sits right on the border between the two cities. Edina has very restrictive drinking rules, so the bar and service areas of the hotel are located on the Bloomington side of the property.

Location: 7800 Normandale Blvd, Bloomington, MN. At I-494 and MN-100 interchange.

Mary Tyler Moore Basils During season #2, a frequently seen shot is of an old building that looks like a castle. This is the Minneapolis City Hall. The building once also housed the Hennepin County Courthouse. Most city and county functions are now housed across the plaza in the Hennepin County Government Center.

The City Hall building was started in 1888, and completed 21 years later in 1909. With its towers rising 345 feet high, it was the tallest building in the city until the Foshay Tower was topped off. When built, the building featured the largest clocks in the world. You can often see these clocks on cable TV—they are used in several CNN promos.

Location: 350 South 5th Street, Minneapolis. In downtown Minneapolis.

Mary Tyler Moore Kowalski's Markets The show introduction shows Mary shopping in a grocery store. In the scene, she looks at an item at the meat counter, makes an interesting facial expression, and then flips it into her cart. This wasn't some kind of anti-red meat statement. Rather, she was reacting to a major news story of the time where meat prices increased dramatically.

That store was Kowalski's Market on Hennepin Ave. At the time, Kowalski's was a modern 1970s grocery store. It has since been rebuilt as a high end boutique grocery store. Mary would probably still shop there if she lived in the area, but she would probably also take a trip out to the suburbs to shop at a Cub Foods once a month or so to take advantage of the better prices.

Location: 2440 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.

Mary Tyler Moore Burch Drug Store On a number of episodes, Mary mentioned a local drug store. For example, when her father came to visit, he walked down to the drug store to get a morning newspaper. That store is the Burch Pharmacy & Gifts at the corner of Hennepin and Franklin streets just south of downtown. The Burch Pharmacy is still in operation today, looking much like it did in the 1970s when Mary would have lived in the Twin Cities. The Burch is much like an old time drug store complete with the big selection of candy and an ice cream counter as well as selling all kinds of personal care products and drugs.

Update—sadly, the Burch Pharmacy closed at the end of April, 2010, after 80 years in business. The owner retired, and could not find a buyer for the store.

Location: 1942 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis.

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Authored by John A. Weeks III, Copyright © 1996—2016, all rights reserved.
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