The Addams Family are continually returning to the big screen and many things have changed throughout the years since the world first met Morticia, Gomez, and the rest of the bunch.
However, there is one major thing that has remained pretty much the same since the original 1960s TV series: The Addams Family House!
If you have seen 2019’s The Addams Family directed by Conrad Vernon of Shrek 2 and Madagascar 3 fame, you know that during the film the iconic mansion gets destroyed and that a few touches of pink are added during its reconstruction.
But, did you know that pink was the original color of the house used to film the classic 1960s TV series? Of course, the color of the walls was not a big factor back then; after all, the original show was shot in black and white.
With a franchise as storied as The Addams Family, pink walls aren’t the only curious tidbit. Read on to learn more about the mansion, including its floor plans, and the many secrets hidden within its creepy, spooky, comforting halls!
History Of The Addams Family Mansion
While the Addams family house has had various interpretations over the years, each with slight variations in architecture, infrastructure, and origins stories, there has always been a central thematic element to the various house incarnations.
From the exterior, the house looks to be dilapidated, almost condemned, and certainly haunted. In the original TV series from the ‘60s, the house was assigned a very particular street address: 0001 Cemetery Lane!
The Original 1960s Home
During the 64 episode run of the 1960s TV series, the production crew came up with an ingenious solution to a very common challenge: save as much money as possible during filming.
In order to shave off as much production costs as was humanly possible, the production company did not even attempt to build a life-size building for the project, nor create a to-scale model. Instead, they looked to a cinematographic device called a Matte Painting.
This means that the instantly recognizable and ornately spooky exterior and surrounding is a painting! Every time you see the house’s exterior featured, whether during the intro or scene transitions, what you are actually seeing is not real; not really.
A famed special effects team from 1960s Hollywood was hired to provide the production team with a modular matte painting that could allow the team to alter the mood of each episode as necessary by changing the shots of the house. For example, if the team needed some ominous storm clouds, the matte painting was modified to include them.
That’s not all, the actual house was partially painted. You see, our favorite spooky mansion was based on a very real Victorian home that was located in, funnily enough, Los Angeles West Adams District. Except, this house only had two stories and was missing the iconic Gothic tower.
To solve this, the special effects team started with a 30 by 40-inch photograph of the real home as a base and had the artists paint over it to add the required degree of macabre elements. This included an entire third story, plenty of creepy statues, trees, and the aforementioned Gothic tower, etc.
The 1990s Vs 2000s Homes
The early years of the 1990s brought us some fantastic Addams Family content. In 1991 we had the highly successful and critically acclaimed The Addams Family movie starring the unforgettable cast of Raul Julia, Anjelica Houston, Christopher Loyd, and Christina Ricci.
In 1992 we had one of my all-time favorite adaptations, the Hannah-Barbera produced The Addams Family animated TV series. We are not going to talk about 1998’s American-Canadian Sitcom, The New Addams Family.
In both of the movies and the cartoon, the Addams family house was modeled to closer match the original design done by the franchise’s creator Charles Addams for a New Yorker comic: a 19th-century Second-Empire style home.
More recently this beloved franchise has experienced an exciting revival with 2019s computer-animated The Addams Family, and the upcoming sequel. For this run of the family, the home was constructed as a mental asylum before they moved in. However, much of the innate architectural design elements remain the same.
What Architectural Style Is The Addams Family Home?
The Addams Family home falls within the Second Empire architectural style. This style, which dates back to the days of Napoleon Bonaparte, can be best described as the architecture of sumptuousness.
Buildings built in this style boast their wealth, they do not shy away from ostentatiousness.
The primary elements of any Second Empire home are:
- Eclecticism: the haphazard mixture of divergent styles ranging from the Greco-Roman to the French Renaissance.
- Elaborate Ornamentation.
- Luxury and Gaudiness.
The Addams Family House Floor Plan
With all these adaptations over several decades, there is no definitive floor plan for the Addams Family House, but there are many consistencies and features that are included with each iteration of the home.
The exact number of rooms is not known, but most people agree that the total number hovers between 25 and 30 rooms.
These usually include a conservatory, a playroom full of torture devices, uncle Fester’s laboratory, an office, a library, a gallery of rare pieces of art, a ballroom, entrance, hallway, basement, tunnels, dungeons, ravines, bottomless pits, a vault, a tower, a study, bathrooms, and more.
As if that weren’t confusing enough, all throughout the house guests will find a plethora of death traps, booby traps, and deadly animals!
It’s Bigger On The Inside
One of the most curious facts about the Addams family dwelling is that the house is seemingly bigger on the inside than on the outside. In other words, the house’s interior defies physics!
The disproportionate difference in size between the exterior and the interior spaces may very well be attributed to a supernatural element. In fact, it is very common for guests to become lost amongst the many, many hallways, staircases, and secret rooms.
Props Spooky Props
Addams Family imagery is iconic. People from vastly different generations can effortlessly list off sounds and images from the various TV and film adaptations. This, of course, is due to the family’s wonderfully entertaining cast of memorable characters and plot lines. However, the mansion, littered with a seemingly endless source of props, helped to cement this franchise as one of the classics.
The prop work throughout the sets, across the various adaptations, was so busy at times that I wouldn’t blame anyone for failing to catch it all. Below are some of the easiest to miss, kooky, spooky, and strange props inside the Addams Family house.
- The Growling Rug: Affectionately called Bruno, this polar bear skin rug changes locations throughout the various episodes and movies; however, one thing remains consistent: the fact that the rug growls when kicked or stepped on.
- The Disembodied Leg: Whenever anyone outside the family visited the Addams’ house, they would inevitably notice the disembodied foot and leg sticking out of the mounted Swordfish on the wall. In case you are wondering, the leg belonged to the family’s dear cousin Farouk.
- Morticia’s Pet Plant: Named Cleopatra, Morticia’s pet plant is a carnivorous “African Strangler” which she grew from a small seed and regularly feeds bloody morsels of meat. Cleopatra is found amongst Morticia’s headless roses, hemlock, poison ivy, and henbane garden.
- The Harpsichord: The Addams family loves to decorate their house in a tetric and macabre style. However, one particular element seems to go against this trend, and that is the ornate harpsichord that sits in the middle of the living room.
- Lady Fingers: We all know and love Thing. T. Thing, more commonly known as Thing, the family’s handyman; no pun intended. But did you know that at various points, Thing was not the only disembodied hand to live in the house? Ladyfingers and Esmeralda were both temporary “handmaidens” that served dear Aunt Millie.
- Kitty Katt: A Man-Eating plant was not the only pet owned by this crazy bunch. Besides cousin, It’s aptly named dog, Them, and various piranhas, Morticia was also the proud owner of a male African Lion. I bet you didn’t know that Kitty Kat once ate a zookeeper and got an upset stomach as a result?
- UNIVAC: The last thing we think about when we think about the crazy Addams family is technology. After all, this fictional bunch were known for their macabre and antics. However, did you know that the Addams family house was the first TV house to display a personal computer? The family were the proud owners of a powerful UNIVAC!
More Interesting Addams Family Mansion Facts
The Addams Family Home In Color
The interior walls of the Addams Family home were pink. At least the living room was. Here are some surprising photos as you have never seen it before.
Surprisingly enough, the house located on 0001 Cemetery Lane did not always have a cemetery next door. The creepy addition did not appear until the 1977 Reunion Special and appeared again in both of the 1990s feature films.
Beware of the Thing!
The Addams Family mansion had a warning sign posted on their front gate, much like many of us dog owners do. After all, we don’t want our pets to accidentally bite some innocent guest. However, unlike our more mundane Beware of Dog signs, the Addams Family opted to warn their neighbors with a Beware Of The Thing sign!
Before the Addams Family, the original house made appearances in film and the small screen. First in the 1964 movie “Seven Days in May” then in season 5 of the popular sitcom “Hazel”
The House Has Its Own Website
Built in 1887 for Gregory Newhall the house has such a long and interesting past that 21chesterplace.com was created to keep a record of its history, ownership, and facts
Where Is The Addams Family House?
21 Chester Place in Los Angeles California was the location of the original Addams Family house upon which our spooky mansion was based.
Unfortunately, was demolished shortly after the production company took its inspiration. So if you were planning on one of those famed Hollywood tours where they take you around to view all of the most famous houses in TV history, you will be very much disappointed.
Can You Visit The Addams Family House?
You may still be able to make your dream of visiting the Addams Family home come true. Due to the resurgence in popularity of the franchise, the website Booking.com recently designed a replica home/museum. The replica is located in the neighborhood of Clinton Hill, in Brooklyn, NY.
Unfortunately, the folks at Booking.com are not actual wizards and so could not recreate a 1:1 replica. The attraction includes the living room, dining room, master bedroom, as well as Pugsley’s and Wednesday’s bedrooms.
We can only hope that Booking.com opens the house in time for the upcoming sequel.