870 Seventh Avenue, @56th Street
The Omni Park Central Hotel
New York City
Original production home of the Jackie Gleason Show
The original Fred/Alan office was incredibly ugly. The evidence in these posted pictures (and the few others we’ve saved) should give you a slight taste of someone’s warmed over mid-century lack of sense. But, it didn’t really matter, because the people we had in the company were an incredibly inspired and talented group.
In the mid-80s, we’d inherited the space from our friend and first producing partner, Buzz Potamkin, who executed our famous MTV “moonman” IDs and produced Dale Pon’s “I Want My MTV!”. He’d just started Buzzco and offered to share space he’d found at the top of what’s now the Park Central Hotel in Manhattan, for about a third of the going rents. It had a modicum of fame because it was where Jackie Gleason his 1950s Honeymooners offices (which eventually had us name our production arm Chauncey Street, adress to Ralph Kramden in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn), but God knows who had it in between.
The most striking features were the round, stalagtited reception area (above) and the rugs (just one example, below). Each floor of the hotel had a different, mid-century rug knockoffs in the wildest colors and designs they could print. Someone had the money saving idea of using the remnants for the flooring in our space. So right where they’d run out of carpet, they just slammed the next one up against it, no matter the clash. We must have had 25 different designs jammed together. Talk about psychedelic.
No matter. The cheap rent let us populate the place with an incredible group of folks —not all of them in our company— free thinkers all; more than 25 years later many of us still work together. We had a wild time.0 comments Tagged: self promotion,.