Saturday, September 10, 2016

It's now the "Houdini Studio" in New Jersey

I'll be darned. Our friend Perry in New Jersey has discovered a new website for the building at 216 19th St. in Union City, which was once owned by Houdini and housed his Film Developing Corporation and possibly his magic workshop. It appears the building has been renamed "Houdini Studio." The website sources THIS POST from 2014 pointing out the connection. Our work is done here!

The new "Houdini Studio" website also offers photos of the inside, which we can maybe use to help prove and/or pinpoint the exact location of Houdini's workshop, as seen in THIS PHOTO from the Kevin Connolly collection that I shared last week.

Below is what the the building looked like in Houdini's day. Back then the address was 216-222 Weehawken Street.

I feel kinda proud that this building is now known as Houdini Studio. But to give proper credit, this location was first uncovered by the great Patrick Culliton (Houdini's Ghost) and first revealed on Kevin Connolly's blog "Houdini Himself" in 2010 (Kevin took down his blog and all its content earlier this year).

Thank you Perry.



  1. As Emperor Palpatine said to Darth Vader in Star Wars VI: "Your work here is finished my friend."

    1. Ha! I think I emailed the owners or the then tenants a while back and shared with them the Houdini connection. It was news to them, but they were thrilled.

      I've also been pushing for this as a location for an Official Houdini Seance.

  2. What's currently going on with that building? It appears that the owner is renting it out for parties and business meetings?

    From this website we can see that the stairs leading to the second floor follow the double door entrance.

    1. Appears to be business rental space for short or long term. They seem to really be catering to film or TV production.

  3. Not surprising that the building is called the Houdini Studio since the Handcuff King is a hot commodity these days.

    So the drill press and Vanishing Birdcage photo are the only two that exist of HH in the workshop?

  4. "The new "Houdini Studio" website also offers photos of the inside, which we can maybe use to help prove and/or pinpoint the exact location of Houdini's workshop, "

    I don't think so. All of the interior photos are of the large single-story area on the left side of the building. I agree with the discussion that the workshop views out of the windows were from a second story room. Plus, you can't make the corner of the room that is visible in the Birdcage shot match to any of the four corners that are shown in the new interior shots.

    And FWIW, if you look at Bing Maps Bird's Eye views of the building, it is a three-story building (basement windows are visible from the back side).

  5. The lower left photo of the Loft section looks very much like the Birdcage shot. The raised section of the brick wall matches the Birdcage photo. Here's the link:

    This would imply that the workshop was in the upper loft section.

    1. The Loft is actually in a different building. It's upstairs in the building they call The Firehouse. It does look A LOT like the workshop.

      But if you look at the shot of the Houdini building from the outside and look through the windows of the second story, it also seems to look like the workshop. Same window in back corner.

  6. The second floor of the white Houdini building looks deceptively small but it has considerable depth as you can see in the old FDC photo.

    That upper floor of the Firehouse really does look like the workshop. I take it the Firehouse is close by the white Houdini building?


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