Dennis Feinstein Headquarters from “Parks and Recreation”Apr 6th, 2015 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
Though I chronicled the main locations used on Parks and Recreation pretty extensively for Los Angeles magazine in March, I still have a few of the series’ less prominent locales stockpiled in my backlog and figured it was about time that I covered them. While watching the Season 7 episode titled “Save JJ’s,” I became just a wee bit obsessed with the building that portrayed the offices of Dennis Feinstein (Jason Mantzoukas), due to the fact that it bore such a strong resemblance to the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at the College of the Canyons, aka the Austin FBI Headquarters from The Mentalist. I figured the two structures were probably designed by the same architect and that the Feinstein building was most likely part of a college campus. Though I did find the place fairly quickly, both of my hunches turned out to be wrong.
Dennis Feinstein Headquarters is actually the Wallis Annenberg Research Center at the House Research Institute, which is located at 2100 West 3rd Street in Westlake, just north of MacArthur Park. The architecturally stunning site was designed by Nick Seierup of the Perkins+Will architecture firm in 2007. Construction of the building was made possible thanks to a $10 million donation from the Annenberg Foundation.
According to its Facebook page, the House Research Institute, which was established in 1946 by ear specialist Howard P. House, was “a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with hearing loss and related disorders through research, patient care and the sharing of knowledge.” Sadly, the facility started to lose funding during the economic downturn in 2008 and eventually closed its doors in 2014. The House Ear Clinic portion of the organization, which treats about 30,000 patients each year, remains open, though.
According to the Perkins+Will eBook, Nick Seierup incorporated the function of the building into its design by modeling its frame after “the curvilinear shape of the cochlea of the inner ear.”
In 2008, the structure won the “New Buildings: Commercial” award from the the Los Angeles Business Council.
Though the exterior gates were open when I showed up to stalk the place, being that it is an active medical center, I felt uncomfortable venturing onto the property to take any photographs. Quite a lot of it is visible from the street, though, and you can check out some interior photos of the building here.
In Parks and Recreations’ “Save J.J.’s” episode, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) and the rest of the Pawnee Parks gang hold a rally at Feinstein’s head offices after learning that the cologne magnate is planning to demolish the beloved J.J.’s Diner (you can check out that location here) in order to make room for an elbow art salon (and no, that is not a typo).
I am fairly certain that the real life interior of the House Research Institute was also used in the filming.
A few other productions have also made use of the unique structure over the years. The 2009 television series Three Rivers was set in Pittsburgh, but was actually lensed in L.A. Production took place mainly at The Studios at Paramount and the House Research Institute, which stood in for the William H. Foster Transplant Institute and the Three Rivers Regional Medical Center on the series.
Ironically, while the exterior and lobby area of Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank (another Parks and Rec locale that I blogged about here) were used as the hospital where Sarah Highman (Michelle Monaghan) gave birth at the end of the 2010 comedy Due Date . . .
. . . other interiors were shot at the House Research Institute.
In 2013, the exterior of the House Research Institute made a brief appearance as a hospital entrance in the Season 5 episode of Castle titled “The Fast and the Furriest.”
In the Entourage movie, Eric (Kevin Connolly) and Sloane (Emmanuelle Chriqui) have their baby at the House Research Institute.
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Dennis Feinstein Headquarters from Parks and Recreation, aka the House Research Institute, is located at 2100 West 3rd Street in Westlake.