Monday, May 21, 2012

Jim Henson's New York

A few weeks ago I walked around uptown and photographed all the buildings I knew about in New York City connected to Jim Henson in someway or another.

In 1963 Henson and his family first moved to New York from Washington D.C.  They lived in the apartment building at 12 Beekman Place, which is one of the tiny streets east of 1st Ave in midtown.
The first muppet studio was only a few blocks away at 303 E 53rd St, which looks like this now:
It was here the small crew worked on commercials, variety show sketches and experimental pieces like the short film Time Piece.
In 1963 the expanding muppet crew moved uptown to 227 E 67th St, which is now the resuraunt L'Absinthe;
In another 10 years Henson moved the workshop again - just down the street to 201 67th St. Keeping the 227 building as well for business affairs.

In 1978 the workshop moved once again to a townhouse at 117 E 69th St. Unfortunately it was completely covered in scaffolding when I was there - it was just sold recently and looked like it was being renovated. Here is a picture of what it used to look like:
This would be home to the muppets until 2003 when the workshop moved to LA.

Some time around 1983 Jim Henson bought an apartment in The Sherry- Netherland Hotel at 781 5th Ave,  overlooking central park.
Finally from 1980 to 1993 at 833 Lexington Ave the was a muppet themed store called Muppet Stuff. Today it is one of 8,000 Le Pain Quotidiens, though the old fashioned building still looks the same.


Sheridan Dupre said...

Very interesting, thanks G!

Dave Zanko said...

There still is a New York workshop. It principally exists to supply and maintain the puppets for Sesame Street, which is taped at the Astoria Kaufmann Studios. The current workshop is near there on Northern Blvd in LIC.