For a show based in Atlantic City, Boardwalk Empire sure spends a lot of time in New York City. This might be due to the prevalence of mob life on the show, or perhaps the 15% tax breaks offered by the state. Whatever the reason may be, we at Untapped Cities were glad to make this list of some of our favorite locations in Brooklyn, where much of the series was filmed. See also our piece on Boardwalk Empire‘s film locations in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island!
The Empire State Building sometimes gets in the shot and must be digitally erased. Image source: Bryn Alexandra.
The boardwalk featured in the show is actually an enormous set constructed on an empty lot in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that has been the backdrop for everything from daily greetings to explosions. It is modeled after the 1920s version of the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Every single storefront (including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel) has been recreated and there is a large blue CGI screen covering one side of the parking lot that is used to simulate the ocean. Initially placed here because of the greater tax breaks offered in the state of New York, the set on the corner of Commercial and Clay Streets has been abandoned for this season. According to Greenpointers, the lot will be turned into a condominium complex in the coming years.
The actual boardwalk in Atlantic City was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy last year.
Montauk Club in Park Slope
The club has also made an appearance on the show Person of Interest. Image source: New York Post.
This building in Brooklyn’s historic district of Park Slope serves the show as Lolly Steinman’s casino. The private club, founded in 1889, is an example of a New York City structure inspired by European architecture. It is based on a palace on Venice’s Grand Canal that moved architect Francis H. Kimball. At its opening it enjoyed a wide membership that included figures like Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. A shift in the club’s activities accompanied the 20th century as the population around it changed and the popularity of club activities declined. The top floors were sold as condominiums and rooms on the ground were rented out as office space. Anyone is welcome to join the club, which charges fees starting at $250 a year.
Commandant’s House in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Most shots of the interior of Nucky’s house are taken here at the Commandant’s House in Vinegar Hill. A part of the Brooklyn Navy Yard property, the edifice was designed around 1805 by Charles Bulfinch, the man behind the U.S. Capitol Building. An interview with WNYC set designer Bill Groom revealed that extensive restorations were made to Federal-style doors, windows, and the parlor floor before shooting. An entire kitchen was also built in the house’s storage space. The bedrooms, however, were recreated in the studio and not filmed in the gated home on Evans Street. The Commandant’s house was purchased by a private buyer in 1964 and since then photographs of the interior have been nearly impossible to attain.
Pictured above are Victorian homes on E. 18th St in Brooklyn that were used in the filming of Boardwalk Empire. According to the Ditmas Park Patch, both interior and exterior scenes have been filmed in these homes, most of which were buil5 near the start of the 20th century. In the historic district of Ditmas Park, which is located in Flatbush just south of Prospect Park, Victorian-style structures are par for the course. According to a New York Times feature, the neighborhood underwent a movement for more small businesses around 2008 that resulted in a market, the Ditmas Park blog, and a plethora of new restaurants.
Hollander & Lexer
According to the salesperson at Hollander & Lexer on Metropolitan Ave. in Williamsburg, Boardwalk Empire‘s crew turned the shop into a speakeasy for a couple of episodes. The distinctive walls and ceiling are original to the building, which is believed to have been a butcher shop. If you recognize this interior from the show, leave us a comment and let us know which episode(s) it was in!
Appellate Court, Downtown Brooklyn
Image via Brooklyn Eagle