It seems like there are countless mentions on the Internet of the apartment building in which Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Joey lived on “Friends,” the hit show that ran from 1994-2004. Even we here on Off the Grid wrote about it and several other locations. In that post we also mentioned that, in addition to living in Washington Square Village, Ross later took over Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment across the street from his four other friends (their iconic corner building is on the right-hand side of the above photo).
But where exactly was that apartment across the street?
As Ross is pointing to in the top image (with a little “movie magic” from us at GVSHP), the answer is the six-story tenement building at 19 Grove Street. Built in 1891, it was a little over 100 years old when Ross moved in halfway through season 5.
There doesn’t seem to be an online source that lists this address, but as I was catching up on the show it’s pretty easy to identify the building. Not only does the camera pan over from Monica’s building at 90 Bedford Street, but it’s also hard to miss its neighbor, the great wood-frame house at 17 Grove Street, in several establishing shots. Check out episodes such as “The One with the Ride-Along” (Season 5, Episode 20) and “The One with Ross’s Denial” (Season 6, Episode 3) to see for yourself!
There are many scenes showing the six friends looking out of Monica’s window towards Ross’s window, and vice versa. Of course, these apartments are just Hollywood sound stages, but I couldn’t help but notice that their windows don’t make sense when you consider the real-life buildings.
Monica’s window would be facing Grove Street if she’s able to see Ross’s window across the way. The map helps us see how close they all lived to each other.
These screenshots show Joey looking out Monica’s window as Ross acts out a shark attack from his apartment window. In real life, both of these buildings have standard single windows rather than an artist’s skylight and a tripartite window.
Here are the actual windows on these buildings. It definitely would be a lot harder for all six friends to gather around Monica’s window (and hang out on her nice little “deck”) and for Ross to show off his shark attack moves in these actual windows.
The image with Joey above also makes me realize why I had always assumed Monica’s window looked out to the interior of the block: the darker brick building on the left angles in such a way that doesn’t make sense for a street-facing window at 90 Bedford. The lighter red brick building next to it looks like a rear elevation, but even if it was the street, you won’t find a building that looks like that on Ross’s side of the street!
Just for fun – and because I’m a bit of a map nerd – here is another map with Phoebe’s apartment building at 5 Morton Street (represented in green). Can you imagine having all your best friends within a three-block radius? No wonder they never hung out with anyone else!
The purple symbol shows the Lucille Lortel Theatre, the real-life venue where Joey performed every now and then. Considering his apartment is where the blue symbol is, that’s about the best commute you could ever ask for – especially if you’re as absent-minded as Joey could be.
If you’re curious about the histories of these buildings, be sure to check out the designation report for the Greenwich Village Historic District available on our Resources page. Thanks for tuning in!