Huron Substation from “NCIS: New Orleans”Feb 3rd, 2015 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
I have been a fan of the television show NCIS ever since it premiered in 2003. While I never got into its 2009 spin-off, NCIS: LA, the Grim Cheaper and I recently caught the backdoor pilots for the series’ most recent offshoot, NCIS: New Orleans, and absolutely loved them. I was also thrilled while watching to recognize the location used as the NCIS New Orleans field office in the episodes – it’s actually the Huron Substation located in Los Angeles’ Cypress Park. Mike, from MovieShotsLA, had told me about the locale years ago because of its appearance in the movie Must Love Dogs, but for whatever reason, I had never stalked it. Once it popped up on NCIS, though, I figured it was high time that I did and finally ventured on over there last week.
The Huron Substation was originally constructed in 1906 in order to provide electricity for the Yellow Cars transit line. As journalist Jean Merl explained in a 2009 Los Angeles Times article, “The trolleys, operated by Henry E. Huntington’s Los Angeles Railway, were the local counterpart to Pacific Electric Railway’s Red Cars, which covered four counties. Both systems operated streetcars powered by electricity and required scores of substations to convert alternating current to the direct current used by the cars.”
The massive, peaked-roof, brick structure was designed by civil engineer Edward Sigourney Cobb, who, according to the L.A. Times article, also helped to build Angels Flight, the famed funicular railway in Bunker Hill.
The City of Los Angeles sold the Huron Substation at the end of the 1950s and the site proceeded to go through several incarnations, including stints as a signal manufacturing plant, a welding shop and a furniture workshop.
The Huron Substation was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument on December 20th, 1988. A short time later, the interior was completely destroyed in a fire. Thankfully, then owner Bob Josten subsequently renovated the space, bringing it back to its original glory.
In 2005, a woman named Meike Kopp purchased the property. She uses the space as her private residence, but also rents it out for special events and filming – lots and lots of filming.
It’s no wonder the site has become so popular with location scouts – the Huron Substation is nothing short of spectacular. The interior is made up of sweeping 45-foot tall ceilings, huge arched windows, exposed brick, 12-foot high doors, an open first level that measures 32 by 46 feet, a second floor mezzanine, an enormous open staircase, and a large back patio. You can check out some photographs of the interior here. I can’t even imagine how cool it must be to live there!
While I did not get to see the interior, I was able to catch a glimpse of the patio area through the back fence. It, too, is pretty spectacular.
NCIS: New Orleans was first introduced via the Season 11 episodes of NCIS titled “Crescent City” and “Crescent City: Part 2.” The Huron Substation only appeared as the New Orleans NCIS field office in those two episodes.
Once the series was picked up, filming moved to the Big Easy and a set of the field office was built on a studio soundstage. You can see photographs of the set here.
Though production designer Victoria Paul stated in a November 2014 NOLA.com article that the set’s design was inspired by the carriageway used in the establishing shots of the field office (pictured below), it is obvious that the general layout and look of the space, with the exposed brick walls, large open staircase, carriage door and second floor mezzanine, were at least in part modeled after the Huron Substation. (The carriageway used on the series is located at approximately 723 St. Ann Street in New Orleans.)
As I mentioned earlier, I recognized the Huron Substation in NCIS: New Orleans due to its appearance in Must Love Dogs. In the 2005 romcom, the property was where Jake (John Cusack) lived. The upstairs area was used as his living space . . .
. . . while the downstairs was used as the workspace for his boat.
The Huron Substation was also extensively throughout 2001’s The Fast and the Furious as Dominic Toretto’s (Vin Diesel) garage.
In 2003’s Malibu’s Most Wanted, the site stood in for a nightclub where Brad ‘B-Rad’ Gluckman (Jamie Kennedy) performed.
Josh Groban’s 2006 “February Song” music video was filmed in its entirety inside of the Huron Substation.
You can watch that video by clicking below.
The Jonas Brothers also shot their 2007 “Kids of the Future” video on the premises.
You can watch that video by clicking below.
In the 2010 dramedy The Kids Are All Right, the Huron Substation masqueraded as WYSIWYG (an acronym for “What You See Is What You Get”), the restaurant owned by Paul (Mark Ruffalo). The building was used extensively in the filming. Areas utilized included the exterior;
and the bottom floor, which was transformed considerably for the shoot.
That same year, the Huron Substation was transformed into Lou Pine’s, “the oldest were [werewolf] bar in Mississippi,” for the Season 3 episodes of True Blood titled “It Hurts Me Too” and “9 Crimes.”
The interior of the building appeared in the two episodes as well.
The Huron Substation also stood in for the interior of New York’s Central Park Boathouse in the 2010 comedy Date Night, though the scene that took place there was rather dark making the space fairly unrecognizable onscreen.
In 2012, the substation masked as the gym belonging to Chad Raber (Daniel Sobieray), a personal trainer who has been murdered, in the Season 1 episode of Major Crimes titled “Before and After.”
Huron Substation also appeared in the films Catwoman and Secretary and in episodes of Heroes and Dollhouse, though I am unsure of which episodes specifically.
Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for telling me about this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!