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The Piece Of Sopranos History That Was Worth $950k

For decades, HBO has been synonymous with prestige television. While streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ have in recent years provided HBO some competition on premium, commercial-free serialized storytelling, for years the sound of HBO's signature static bumper was a sure sign of TV experience like no other.

One of the things that HBO got right early on was its signature intros. Occasionally, those series' openings were so good they ended up way better than the TV show that followed, but either way, they set the tone for whatever was coming masterfully. HBO enthusiasts don't need to look any further for a near-perfect intro than the show that helped establish HBO as a location for nuanced drama, The Sopranos.

From the very first episode of the Sopranos to the controversial finale, viewers saw the same basic opener. The New York City skyline disappears from view as Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), at first obscured to viewers, heads back to his New Jersey home, the city's glamour slowly replaced by the mundane world of the suburbs. A remixed cut of "Woke Up This Morning" by Alabama 3 provides an appropriately gritty insight into Tony's daily routine of mob violence mixed with modern family challenges.

As an iconic segment of an iconic show, the few glimpses of The Sopranos world in that intro have inspired fans to seek out the places featured, although they might be surprised how much some of those locations are worth. Here is the piece of The Sopranos history that was worth $950k.

The Valley Landscape water tower is worth almost $1 million

As Tony Soprano travels from New York City to the suburbs, the viewer receives a brief tour of the different environments the mob boss interacts with throughout the show. The glitz of Manhattan skyscrapers gives way to the industrial structures that support the city, like train tracks and storage yards. Tony's clean suburban neighborhood contrasts with the rundown storefronts of low-income New Jersey sprawl.

Many of the shots used have few noticeable markers, which makes the ones that are recognizable all the more intriguing to fans. One image that stands out is the Valley Landscape water tower, which shows up about two-thirds through the intro. The Valley Landscape water tower sits off Route 21 in Newark, New Jersey, and was purchased by a firm for $950,000 in the fall of 2019 (via Jersey Digs).

While the firm that purchased the water tower did not indicate its plans for the land, in the years leading up to its 2019 purchase, the lot had been repurposed as a cell tower site. Images from Google Maps show the water tower standing tall, although those are dated from around the same time the firm purchased the plot. Whatever the future has in store for the Valley Landscape water tower, it's another reminder that trying to own a piece of The Sopranos' history can be an expensive proposition.