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The ‘Friends’ fountain made infamous in the show's opening credits was meant to represent a park in Greenwich Village in New York City. Built in the late 1930’s the fountain has been seen in several other movies and TV shows, like The Monkees, The Flying Nun,

Friends, Lois & Clark, West Wing and Birds of Prey.

 


Walton fans of course have been treated to at least 3 sightings of this infamous fountain.

In ‘The Family Tree’ (s6-ep18) Verdie Grant visits a plantation where her grandparents were kept as slaves. There is a water fountain inside the front gates of the property. This is our first subtle view of the fountain.

 



In ‘The Empty Nest’ (s7-ep1) John takes Olivia to Richmond where they sit in a park near the fountain. This episode gave us our best views of the fountain.

 

 


In ‘The Premonition’ (s9-ep4) John-Boy performs a puppet show for Simone, a French girl, near the fountain in Paris.

 

 

 


So Where is this Fountain?


It is located on the Warner’s Ranch in Burbank, California.




The European style fountain has been mistaken as the Cherry Hill fountain located in Central Park in New York City.
The buildings behind the ‘Friends’ cast members are supposed to be townhouses, modelled after the ones found around
Boston’s Beacon Hill and Boston’s park, Boston Common and not New York at all.

An excellent overview of the fountains many uses in TV and Film complete with great images can be seen at this HIGHLY RECOMMENDED link.
The Unofficial Columbia Ranch Site

Learn about how the fountain was chosen for the ‘Friends’ intro.
The True Story Behind Friends' Iconic Opening Credits

Learn how The Monkees put the fountain to good use.
The iconic Friends fountain first made a big splash on The Monkees

Read more about the truth behind the ‘Friends’ fountains
The "Friends" fountain has been lying about its location this whole time

In the aerial view above of the Warner Ranch you can see the row of city townhouses to the left of the fountain that make up

the backdrop of the 'Friends' opening sequence and to the right of the fountain is the 'Baldwin' residence.

 

A few stills from various TV shows appear below.

 

 


'Bewitched'

'Bewitched'
   

'Bewitched'

'Dennis the Menace'

'Dennis the Menace'


'The Monkees'

'The Monkees'

 


 

We were curious about the plantation house seen in the background of the scene from "The Family Tree' episode of The Waltons.

Initially we thought that it might have been a significantly altered view of the Baldwin residence.

Despite the similar Georgian style architecture, the angle and orientation is not quite right.

 

We comfirmed this by comparing the mountain range seen in the background in the image on the left and compared it to the placement of the fountain and the mountains on Google Earth.

 

You can see the same building below in the background of these stills from 'Bewitched' and 'The Waltons'.

 

 


This aerial map shows the camera angle captured in both the episode from 'The Waltons' and 'Bewitched'. The drawing still shows the Georgian style mansion. The grey building to the left of the park area is the 'Baldwin' residence.

 

The Georgian style building in the background is of a structure no longer found on the Warner Ranch.

It has since been removed and replaced with a 2 storey house seen below.

In 2019 the decision was made to excavate and move the fountain from the Warners Ranch to the main Warner lot, a few blocks south, as part of the 'Friends' Studio Tour Experience in conjunction with the recreation of the Central Perk Cafe. The move is part of a larger plan to redevelop the Warner's Ranch property in 2023. The Warner Ranch was used as the 2nd location of the Walton's house as seen in the 1990's movie specials as well as the Dragonfly Inn on 'The Gilmore Girls'. It is also the location of the Baldwin residence. It appears that this is the last we will see of these nostalgic locations.

 



 


Another discovery we made is of this yet unconfirmed studio backlot that features a very similar water fountain with the same style 'dolphin/dragon fish' yet the bowl diameter is smaller.

 


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