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The Milbank Mansion – aka Chapman Academy Preschool from “Daddy Day Care”

Feb 23rd, 2012 | By | Category: Movie Locations

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A couple of weeks ago, Tony, my friend and fellow stalker who has the fabulous On Location in Los Angeles Flickr photostream (seriously, it’s amazing – go check it out!), asked me for some help in tracking down the ginormous Mediterranean mansion that stood in for the prestigious Chapman Academy Preschool in the 2003 comedy Daddy Day Care.  Tony had informed me that the residence was used regularly for filming and that it had also been featured recently in the Season 10 episode of fave show CSI: Miami titled “By the Book”.  So I started doing some research on oft-filmed-at Mediterranean estates in Los Angeles and, amazingly, fairly quickly came across a photograph of a gorgeous Country Club Park property named the Milbank Mansion that, sure enough, was the right spot.  So, while Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I were out doing some stalking in the area this past Monday morning, we stopped by the place.  And I have to say that it is pretty darn incredible in person!  Not to mention pretty darn huge!

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The Milbank Mansion was originally built in 1913 for prominent local businessman Isaac Milbank and his wife, Virginia.  The 12-bedroom, 5-bath, 10,059-square-foot home, which sits on 1.79 acres of land, was designed by G. Laurence Stimson, the very same architect who also gave us the legendary Wrigley Mansion, now the Tournament of Roses House, in Pasadena.  The estate is located in the heart of Country Club Park – a historic 250-acre neighborhood situated on the site of the original Los Angeles Country Club, which closed its doors in 1905.  The area was developed and subdivided  by none other than Isaac Milbank himself, along with a business partner named George Chase, beginning in 1906.  The Milbank Mansion, which, according to a June 1988 Los Angeles Times article, is “considered to be the most substantial surviving estate built for a single family in the city of Los Angeles before World War I”, became a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument on December 13, 1989.  You can see some interior photographs of the property here.

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In Daddy Day Care, both the exterior . . .

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. . . and the interior of the Milbank Mansion were used as the Chapman Academy Preschool.

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In the Season 10 Halloween-themed episode of CSI: Miami titled “By the Book”, the mansion stood in for the island estate where a female body that had been entirely drained of blood was found hanging upside down.

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The interior of the estate was also used in the episode.

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In the 1929 silent film Wrong Again, the exterior of the Milbank Mansion was used as the residence where stable hands Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy mistakenly returned a horse named “Blue Boy” thinking they would be able to collect on some reward money being offered for a missing painting also known as “Blue Boy”.

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In the 1975 film noir Farewell, My Lovely, both the interior and the exterior of the Milbank Mansion stood in for the brothel belonging to “L.A.’s famous madam” Francis Amthor (Kate Murtagh).  Of the estate, detective Phillip Marlowe (Robert Mitchum) says, “It was an old house, built as they once built them and don’t build them anymore.  Fitting and proper for housing the world’s oldest profession.”

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In 2006’s Running with Scissors, the interior of the mansion stood in for the home where Dr. Finch (Brian Cox) lived with his crazy family – wife Agnes (Jill Clayburgh) and daughters Hope (Gwyneth Paltrow) and Natalie (Evan Rachel Wood).  The property was dressed rather heavily for the production, though, and is virtually unrecognizable onscreen.

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As you can see above, for the exterior of Dr. Finch’s mansion a different location was used.

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The Milbank Mansion was also supposedly featured in Harold Lloyd’s 1922 silent film Dr. Jack, the 1971 movie Hit Man, and the reality series Beauty and the Geek, but unfortunately I could not find copies of any of those productions to verify that information.  And while several websites have stated that the property also appeared in the 2001 biopic Ali, I scanned through the movie yesterday while making screen captures for this post and did not see it anywhere.

Big THANK YOU to fellow stalker Tony for asking me to find this location!   You can check out Tony’s FANTASTIC On Location in Los Angeles Flickr photostream here.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: The Milbank Mansion, aka the Chapman Academy Preschool from Daddy Day Care, is located at 3340 Country Club Drive in the Country Club Park section of Los Angeles.

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3 comments

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  1. David says:

    If you are looking for the pink mansion exterior from Running With Scissors, the address is 2218 S Harvard Blvd in Los Angeles.

    The house was also used briefly in the beginning of the Ashton Kutcher / Natalie Portman movie No Strings Attached.

    It turned up in a lot of B-movies throughout the late 80s / early 90s including Twice Dead, Evil Toons, The Immortalizer, The Convent, etc.

    The house across the street from it was used in Wes Craven’s The People Under The Stairs, and next door to the PUTS house is the former home of Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel (Gone With The Wind).

    Here is a link with screencaps from other movies the house appeared in:
    http://t-location-scout.blogspot.com/2012/01/twice-dead-1988-evil-toons-1992-more.html


Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. […] his comment on my Milbank Mansion post, fellow stalker David, from The Location Scout blog, also informed me that directly across the […]

  2. […] back in February, fellow stalker David, of The Location Scout blog, wrote a comment on my post about the Milbank Mansion, the interior of which was used as the inside of the Finch home in Running with Scissors, informing […]

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