Those who grew up in the ‘80s likely can’t look at a skateboard key or multi-colored high-tops without thinking of Punky Brewster, the plucky orphan portrayed by actress Soleil Moon Frye on the television series of the same name. I adored the show as a youngster (I still have the doll!) and recently set about tracking down the supposed Chicago apartment building where Punky lived with her curmudgeonly adoptive father, Henry Warnimont (George Gaynes), on the popular series, which ran from 1984 to 1988. Thanks to an address number that was visible above the stately structure’s front entrance and some fairly obsessive searching via Google Maps, I found the place standing just one block west of MacArthur Park. Said to be at 2520 Pierce Street in the Windy City on the show, the 1909 building, named the Trebor Apartments in real life, is actually located at 2520 West 7th Street in Los Angeles. Virtually no part of the brick colonial façade, which also appeared briefly in the 1923 silent film The Strong Man, has been altered since the Punky days. The edifice was used in establishing shots of Punky and Henry’s home throughout the series’ four year run and was also featured each week in the opening credits, the theme song from which I can pretty much guarantee all of my fellow ‘80s children know by heart.
Photos: A screen capture from the Punky Brewster Season 3 opening credits (left) and the location in July 2013, photograph courtesy Lindsay Blake (right)
Lindsay Blake is an actress, writer, celebrity admirer and Los Angeles enthusiast who contributes to CityThink each Thursday. Her true love is filming locations, and she founded the Web site IAMNOTASTALKER in 2007 to document her vast findings on the subject. For more “stalking” fun, you can follow Lindsay on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.