FBI Headquarters from “The Mentalist”Jan 20th, 2015 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
Around this time last year, The Mentalist embarked on a huge change of course by having Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) and Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney) leave the Sacramento-based California Bureau of Investigation and then join the Austin, Texas branch of the FBI. So, of course, that meant that I had a new location to find – the building used as FBI Headquarters. I spent countless hours searching for the stunningly modern structure, though, but was never able to track it down. For a while, I even thought it might actually be located in the Lone Star State. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I enlisted the help of my friend Owen, of the When Write Is Wrong blog, and he came through big time! While doing a Google Image search, he happened upon this Tumblr page on which a commenter stated that the building used on the series is the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita. As soon as Owen shared the information with me, I became desperate to stalk the place. So last week, when we headed out to West L.A. for my dad’s doctors appointments, I begged the Grim Cheaper to take a little detour to Santa Clarita beforehand. Despite the fact that this would take us sixty miles out of our way (round-trip), he agreed! He’s seriously so good to me!
The Dianne G. Van Hook University Center was designed by architect Leo A. Daly in 2010 at a cost of almost $29 million. The 110,000-square-foot ultra-modern structure contains 23 classrooms, 6 computer labs, 6 meeting rooms, a lecture hall/theatre, a book store, a video conference room, and a large outdoor patio. The building was named in honor of the college’s longtime superintendent/president, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook, who has been running the COC since 1988.
Though the College of the Canyons has appeared in countless productions over the years (including Weeds, NCIS, and The Girl Next Door), for this post I am focusing solely on the University Center. The building first showed up in the Season 6 episode of The Mentalist titled “My Blue Heaven” and has subsequently been used in every episode since, usually in establishing shots.
The Dianne G. Van Hook University Center is just as stunning in person as it is onscreen. I love how the façade is made up of both sharp and rounded lines.
The interior of the building also pops up occasionally on The Mentalist, so I was beyond thrilled to discover that it is accessible to the public.
The University Center’s interior is also just as stunning in person as it is onscreen.
In the recently-aired Season 7 episode of The Mentalist titled “The Silver Briefcase,” Lisbon and Jane were shown walking along the building’s catwalk . . .
. . . and down the main staircase.
So I just had to pose for a pic on the stairs.
The building’s incredible views were also shown in “The Silver Briefcase.” Man, what I wouldn’t give to see that place at night!
The interior of the actual FBI offices on The Mentalist are sets located inside of a soundstage at Warner Bros. Studio in Burbank. I actually got to see those sets while on a tour of the lot back in June with my friends Lavonna, Kim, Kaylee and Katie. Unfortunately, no photographs were allowed, though.
The University Center also popped up in the Season 12 episode of NCIS titled “Blast From the Past” as the spot where Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) went undercover as an IT specialist.
Big THANK YOU to Owen, from the When Write Is Wrong blog, for finding this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, aka the Austin Headquarters of the FBI on The Mentalist, is located on the College of the Canyons campus in Santa Clarita. The building does not have an exact address, but is situated on University Center Drive, just west of where it intersects with Rockwell Canyon Road.