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The “FlashForward” FBI Headquarters Building

May 21st, 2010 | By | Category: TV Locations

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I was thoroughly disappointed to learn about the cancellation of the ABC television series FlashForward earlier this week, as the show was one of my favorites of the 2009 Fall Season.  What makes the cancellation most heartbreaking, though, for me at least, is the fact that because the season finale was filmed long before the series was canceled, producers did not get a chance to wrap-up the show’s central mystery.  I am afraid that unless a different network purchases FlashForward (which does happen on occasion), its fans will not be offered any sort of ending, resolution, or closure.  Not only will it remain a mystery as to what exactly caused the two minute and seventeen second worldwide blackout, but we will also never know how the lives of the main characters turn out.  UGH!  So annoying!  Anyway, a few weeks back, long before I left for Minnesota, I dragged my fiancé out to Downtown L.A. to stalk the John Ferraro building, which is used as the FBI Headquarters building each week on FlashForward.  Oddly enough, even though the building looked familiar to me when I first watched the pilot episode of the series, I couldn’t figure out exactly where I had seen it before.  Thankfully, though, fellow stalker Owen clued me into the fact that Gary, from the Seeing Stars website, was putting together a FlashForward locations page.  So, I emailed him to ask where the headquarters building was located and he wrote back immediately.  Yay!  Thank you, Gary! 

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The John Ferraro building, which was originally known as the Department of Water and Power’s General Office building, took four years to construct at a cost of $30 million and was first dedicated on June 24th, 1965.  The 17-story building, which was built entirely out of glass, steel, and concrete, was designed by architect Albert C. Martin of AC Martin Partners, an architectural firm who, according to a 1979 Los Angeles Times article, designed “more than 50 percent of all the major buildings erected in downtown Los Angeles since World War II”.  Martin, who was apparently light years ahead of his time, incorporated many “green” elements into the construction of the building, including a system which used the property’s fountains to cool the interior and its lighting to heat it.  Amazingly enough, that system is still in use today!  On November 16, 2000, the City of Los Angeles renamed the Department of Water and Power building in honor of former L.A. Councilman John Ferraro, who at the time had dedicated over 50 years of his life to public service.

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I can quite honestly say that the John Ferraro building is one of the most beautiful structures in all of L.A. – and one of my favorites!  With its 360 degree views of the Downtown Los Angeles skyline and ginormous fountain which surrounds its perimeter, the building is nothing short of majestic.  If you haven’t had the chance to stalk the place yet, I HIGHLY recommend doing so.  As was made apparent by the group of people enjoying a leisurely walk around the building, the photographers taking time-lapse pictures of the fountains, and the many couples just sitting and enjoying the unparalleled views, this is one building that can be appreciated by stalkers and non-stalkers alike.  It’s simply breathtaking!  And a place I never would have even known about had it not been for FlashForward!

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In addition to being used each week in establishing shots of the FBI Headquarters on FlashForward . . .

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. . . some filming has also taken place on location at the John Ferraro Building, including the fight scene between Detective Janis Hawk (aka Christine Woods) and Marcie Turoff (aka Amy Rosoff) in the episode titled “Queen Sacrifice” (pictured above) and the suicide scene of Agent Al Gough (aka Lee Thompson Young) in the episode titled “The Gift”.

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The parking structure of the John Ferraro Building was also used in the big chase scene between Sarah Connor (aka Linda Hamilton), Kyle Reese (aka Michael Biehn) and The Terminator (aka Arnold Schwarzenegger) in the first Terminator movie.  There are also some reports floating around that the John Ferraro Building stood in for both New York’s 14th Precinct on the 1980’s television series Cagney & Lacey and a Tacoma police station in the 1989 movie Three Fugitives, but that information is actually incorrect. 

On a side note – For those who have yet to visit the Google website today, you really need to do so NOW!  In honor of the 30th anniversary of PacMan,Google has implanted a fully-functional mini-version of the 80’s classic arcade game on their homepage.  It is just about the coolest thing ever and I’ve already spent WAY too much time today playing it.  Love it, love it, love it!

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Big THANK YOU to Gary, from Seeing Stars, for finding this location.  :)

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  :)

Stalk It: The John Ferraro Building, aka FBI Headquarters from FlashForward, is located at 111 North Hope Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

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14 comments

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  1. torresongs says:

    If you’ve ever seen a movie called What A Way To Go with Shirley MacLaine, this building is featured in the very first scene.

  2. Eric says:

    Funny you should mention this building now, just three days after this post on the Monday 24th episode of “Chuck” an exterior shot was used to represent a CIA building.

    I’m not 100% it was only breif, but enough of a shot for me to think “Hey, is that the building out of FlashForward”

    • Eric says:

      I can’t beleive it is so old and still looks like it was built yesterday.

      I wonder if it has had any/much external modification/modernisation…

  3. Lavonna says:

    I only watched one episode of this and a guy jumped off building. A friend of ours was an extra in the scene so that was kinda of exciting i think he was on screen for about 3 seconds…but was a thrill for us! Your package is on the way hope you enjoy:)

  4. Tony says:

    Great post. I’ve been meaning to shoot this bldg but I just can’t make it to downtown. Charlton Heston was also seen walking the perimeter of this building next to the pool in the movie “The Omega Man” which I watch only about 3 times a year…

  5. Davidete says:

    Yes sir, what a beautiful place.

    Of course I remember you told me about this location when I was there in USA, but it had no chace to check where the place was exactly, so I simply wrote the address in my phone for looking for it and stalking at the end of our morning in downtown… but finally we had no time for it. The funny part is that we were all around the Disney Auditorium and Dorothy Chandler’s area, without any idea about the proximity of the place!! What a pity. In fact, when I returned back home to Spain, this was the first place I look for on Google Earth just for knowing why the one and only Lindsay Blake could ever told me about it :p And of course, I realized inmediately.

    By the way, I was aware about the rumours of cancellation, but I didn’t know it was a fact. Here in Spain there are some episodes left to watch, but I have to say that although I like the series (and very much), I think they didn’t know how to tell such an interesting story, I mean, the episodes were becoming kind of boring, not IN the main plot.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Lindsay says:

      Oh, I’m so bummed you didn’t get to see it. :( Next time! And you’re definitely right, the show was faltering in recent episodes. I didn’t understand AT ALL how Olivia and Mark could so easily walk away from each other. It didn’t make any sense at all. Hopefully a new network will pick it up and hire some better writers. :) Did you know it was a book first? I’m so going to have to read the book now to get some answers!

      • Rebecca says:

        I read the book last summer after I saw the pilot and unfortunatly, they don’t really have much to do with each other. The show was essentially “based” on the book, not adapted. Some charecters are similer, but the angle is more scientific then police.

        I am glad I am not the only one who went, “Wait, what? Did I miss something?” when Mark and Olivia aren’t together anymore.

        • Lindsay says:

          Hi Rebecca,
          Thanks for letting me know about the book! Now I won’t waste time reading it. :)
          Glad you agree on the whole Olivia/Mark storyline. Those two let go of each other far too easily!
          Happy Stalking :),
          Lindsay

  6. Chas says:

    Also, this building is where Jerry Landers (John Denver) has his interview with God from the 1st Oh God movie.


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. […] and Power located at 111 North Hope Street in downtown L.A.  The structure, which I chronicled in a 2010 post, is only used in establishing shots on Pretty Little Liars.  The interior of Dr. Ackard’s actual […]

  2. […] in the background, one’s breath can easily be taken away. You can read my post on the structure here. The John Ferraro Building is located at 111 North Hope Street in Downtown Los […]

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