Which frightful sitcom is the best? Is it the humorously wholesome “The Munsters” or the eccentric “The Addams Family”? Chances are if you’re of a certain age, or a classic TV buff, you have an opinion.
These two shows aired simultaneously in the 1960s, and legions of fans still bicker about which show is best. Movoto Real Estate set about to add our own take on the debate by looking at one of the most important parts of the sitcoms—their homes.
Airing for 70 episodes between 1964 and 1966, “The Munsters” chronicled the lives of the titular Munster clan. As the name suggests, the black-and-white TV show took classic horrors such as Frankenstein’s monster, a vampire, and werewolf, and turned them into a nuclear family, complete with the “Leave it to Beaver” vibe.
The real-life Munster mansion has a long history in television, even outside “The Munsters.” Those with a quick eye and long memory might have last seen it in ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” as 4351 Wisteria Lane. The set, however, underwent changes to make it less recognizable to TV-goers.
In order to figure out the cost of the mansion we needed to know:
- Its location
- Its size
Fake Monsters, Fake Location
Herman and company hung their hats at 1313 Mockingbird Lane in Mockingbird Heights, a fictional small town near Los Angeles.
After scouring the Internet in the hope of finding a similar location, we were left stumped. No such location exists, at least near LA.
This sad fact left us with a decision to make. The greater Los Angeles area is large. When it came time to place the Munster Mansion in Los Angeles, we picked San Fernando Valley because of its wide-ranging demographics.
From here we needed to calculate the size of the mansion in order to locate similar homes and calculate a price.
Monster Square Footage
The Munster Mansion is large. We know this because of extreme fans Charles and Sandra McKee. The Texas couple built a real-life replica of the Munster Mansion after painstakingly watching each episode.
According the couple’s website, the mansion is 5,825 square feet and includes 4 bedrooms. In today’s housing market, the Munster Mansion would be worth $1,170,825, or $157,547 in 1964 dollars.
It seems Herman Munster made a lucrative living digging graves.
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The Addams Family
The brainchild of cartoonist Charles Addams, the Addams Family appeared in a series of single-panel cartoons from 1938 until the author’s death in 1988. Other adaptations of the Addams family include multiple television series, movies, video games, and a musical.
The various incarnations of the concept follow the Addams brood, a group of wealthy eccentrics with a taste for the grisly, making the family the perfect group to battle the Munsters.
Airing in 1964, “The Addams Family” ran for two seasons, wrapping up its run with 64 episodes.
Unlike the Munsters’ Mansion, the Addams Family’s mansion was based on a real home. In the pilot episode of the series, the exterior of the mansion was filmed on that aptly named Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles. After this a painting of the house was used for establishing shots.
According to James Myers, an extreme Addams Family fan, the home used for exterior shots was located at 21 Chester Place in West Adams, a district near downtown Los Angeles. One difference from the TV show is that the house at 21 Chester Place did not have a full third floor or tower. Instead, the show used an altered painting.
According to Myers, eventually the home found its way to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which gave the land to Mount St. Mary College. Later the home was torn down as part of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s plan to build a high school in the area.
As with the Munster Mansion, we needed to know two things to figure the Addams Family Mansion’s worth:
- Its location
- Its size
Sunshine for the Addams Family
Picking a location for the Addams Family Mansion left us with several options, all of which would have been valid, depending on which series we decided to focus on. To name a few, we could have chosen to locate the mansion based on:
- Charles Addams’ hometown of Westfield, New Jersey
- The musical adoption location in New York City
We chose to use the location of the home used for the establishing shots. This placed the home in the Los Angeles 90007 zip code in West Adams.
More Room for Mayhem
Learning the size of the Addams Family Mansion proved to be a challenge. After hours of research, we were unable to locate the size of the home used in the TV show.
This left us scratching our heads on how to evaluate the fictional home. Eventually, we buckled down and found the size of a similar home in the area.
Our search led us to the two-and-a-half-story Doheny Mansion on the Mount St. Mary University campus. At 12,000 square feet,
the Doheny Mansion is among the bedrocks of the institution’s campus.
Knowing the size of the Doheny Mansion let us make an estimate of the size of the Addams Family Mansion.
What did we learn? The Addams Family’s home would be 14,400 square feet, more than double the size of Herman and the gang’s digs. In addition, it came at a price tag of $3,211,200, or $432,102 in 1964 dollars.
So if you’re planning a move and don’t mind a few extra monsters in your closet or under the bed, consider the Munster Mansion or Addams Family Mansion.
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