Harris’ House from “L.A. Story”May 14th, 2013 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Another L.A. Story location that production designer Lawrence Miller talked about in “The L.A. of L.A. Story” featurette included on the 1991 comedy’s 15th Anniversary Edition DVD was the Spanish-style dwelling where wacky weatherman Harris K. Telemacher (Steve Martin) lived. And even though the address of the home had been listed on the L.A. Story filming locations page for years, I figured the place was still worthy of a blog post. So I ran right out to stalk it – Starbucks latte in hand, of course – while visiting Los Angeles a couple of weekends ago.
In real life, according to Property Shark, the West Hollywood abode, which was originally constructed in 1923, is not a private residence after all, but a multi-family dwelling consisting of four separate units that contain a total of four bedrooms, four baths and 3,366 square feet of living space.
Unfortunately, the site currently bears little resemble to its onscreen counterpart. In fact, when we first pulled up, I thought I had the wrong address! Boo!
The two-story house was one of the main locations used in L.A. Story and popped up repeatedly throughout the movie.
In “The L.A. of L.A. Story”, which was taped in 2006, Miller said, “The director had a concept of L.A. being a desert where people brought water to it and created paradise. This little compound here was selected primarily because of the beautiful trees and greens and foliage that sort of embraced the driveway. This location caused us a little bit of a problem in that the week before we were to shoot here, the neighbor next door decided he wanted to prune all of his greens, all of the trees, all of the things that we loved so much and it forced us to bring in Greensmen to try to duplicate what it was that was there. And it’s interesting looking at it fifteen years later and seeing that it still hasn’t all grown back.” (The screen captures below were taken from “The L.A. of L.A. Story.”)
Sadly, since the filming of the featurette, the foliage that once covered the front of Harris’ house has also been removed, completely changing the look of the place, despite the fact that the structure of the home itself has not been altered. Goes to show the aesthetic power of trees!
Miller also said that the home’s real life front door was swapped out during the filming for a custom-made leaded glass door.
And that the alarm keypad that controlled Harris’ fake barking dog was just a prop.
Unfortunately, that area of the house is not very visible from the street.
I was shocked to learn, thanks to Miller’s interview, that the real life interior of the home was also used in the filming. I would have bet money on it being a set! Areas of the property that appeared in the movie include the kitchen;
the bathroom, with the “slo mo” faucet;
the living room;
and the bedroom, which is, oddly enough, situated right next to the front door, as you can see below.
It was in that bedroom that Harris famously wrote “Bored Beyond Belief.” on a window.
The exact pane that Harris wrote on is the top middle panel of the window located just north of the front door, as denoted by the pink arrows below.
According to “The L.A. of L.A. Story”, the then owner of the property was paid a whopping $35,000 for its use in the movie (and we’re talking 1991 dollars!) and filming on the premises took five weeks to complete, including prep time. $35,000 for five weeks? Yeah, I’d take that!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Harris’ house from L.A. Story is located at 1206 North Orange Grove Avenue in West Hollywood.