The new Amazon show, Man in the High Castle is (loosely) based on the 1962 book by Philip P. Dick that reimagines the United States if the Allied forces had lost World War II. The East Coast to the Rocky Mountains, known as the “Greater Nazi Reich,” is ruled by the Nazi regime. The Japanese Pacific States in the west is ruled by the Japanese, with a thin Neutral Zone in the center of the country serving as a buffer between the two. The show takes place across the country, with two home bases – New York City and San Francisco, and traces the lives of two main characters – Juliana Crain and Joe Blake, two characters from opposite sides of the country who meet in Canon City in the neural zone.

A lot of the show’s establishing shots are edited with CGI, put on top of familiar places, the city of Seattle serves as some stand-ins for both New York City and San Francisco, while the interiors are clearly filmed on sets. We’ll focus first on locations set in and near New York City.

1. Times Square

In the opening of the show, Joe Blake meets an agent in an old school movie theater in New York City near Times Square, listed as the Paramount Theatre on the marquee, and showing the film The Punch Party with Rock Hudson and June Allyson. While a Nazi propaganda news reel plays, a man sits down next to him and hands him a slip of paper. The real Paramount, where Frank Sinatra once incited a riot of young fans is actually located on Broadway, whereas the theater in the show is shown on a side street. One of the accurate vintage details in the striking image of Nazi-dominated Times Square is the cast-iron IRT subway entrance that used to stand in front of One Times Square (the former New York Times building), though they were removed by the 1950s shortly after the war.

2. Brooklyn Bridge

On the way to work in New York City from his home on Long Island, John Smith, the SS Obergruppenführer played by Rufus Sewell, is attacked. An aerial shot of downtown New York City with the Brooklyn Bridge is shown, as Smith’s car crosses into New York City, within the Greater Nazi Reich. South Street Seaport, the Woolworth Building and other skyscrapers are present but they have made the effort to remove the World Trade Center (former and new), along with other buildings keeping the skyline within the purported decade.

3. SS Headquarters, New York City

Photo: Liane Hetscher/Amazon Prime Video

The SS Headquarters is located on Manhattan’s East Side along the East River, south of the Queensboro Bridge around where the United Nations is located (which makes sense for the series). In the shot, you can still see Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island, now demolished and to be replaced by the Cornell tech campus. In this aerial shot, the SS Headquarters building blocks the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, where the abandoned smallpox hospital stands.

In the second season, new establishing shots of the SS Headquarters are added – with a strange addition of a squashed Woolworth Building next door.

4. Home of SS Obergruppenführer, Long Island Suburb

Photo: Liane Hetscher/Amazon Prime Video

SS Obergruppenführer and family live in the suburbs of Long Island, in what approximates one of the planned communities of Long Island built in the early 20th century. The houses and street shown in the show likely emulate a suburb like Great Neck, where diplomats and United Nations employees settled after World War II – close to the city, accessible easily by both train and car with large homes.

5. Joe Blake’s Apartment, Brooklyn

Photo: Liane Hetscher/Amazon Prime Video

Joe Blake lives in a walk-up apartment in Brooklyn, also part of the Greater Nazi Reich, near an elevated subway line (called the U-Bahn in the show) with his girlfriend and her son (though we are not introduced to this girlfriend until episode seven, after he returns home from his mission in Canon City).

6. Reich Rehabilitation Hospital, Roslyn

The SS Obergruppenführer visits his colleague who was wounded in the attack on their car at the Reich Rehabilitation Hospital, said to be located in Roslyn, a suburb of Long Island in Nassau County.

7. Central Park

In the second season, Juliana Crain meets George Dixon (played by Tate Donovan), who is her sister Trudy’s father, in Central Park. Dixon is working undercover for the resistance inside the Greater Nazi Reich. There is an establishing aerial shot of Central Park, showing the SS Headquarters east of Fifth Avenue in Midtown, which is probably a little too far west since the building is located along the East River.

Inside Central Park, the two meet at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, with the backdrop of the Eldorado Apartments visible, located along Central Park West.

8. Joe Blake’s Work Site/Grand Central Terminal

Early in season two, Joe tries to get his construction job back and his boss reluctantly agrees. Shortly thereafter however, Joe is summoned to go to Germany to meet his father, so he doesn’t actually ever go back to work here. The scene shows the Helmsley Building on Park Avenue, which is just north of Grand Central Terminal, in the backdrop. You can also see the Empire State Building further back. The New York City landmarks were mostly likely digitally added in this scene, since we know that filming was consolidated to the West Coast for the second season.

9. Times Square Subway Shuttle

Man in the High Castle took over the S shuttle subway between Times Square and Grand Central with advertising many have found controversial. The seats have been covered over with Nazi and Japanese symbols. The S train has been the location of subway ad takeovers since 2008. It was announced on 11/24 that Amazon would remove the advertising to the controversy.

From an urban perspective, the changes to the landscape imagined in The Man in the High Castle are not too farfetched, given that there was a real-life town in Long Island that had streets named after Hitler, Goebbels and other Nazi officers before World War II. Stay tuned as we add new film locations for San Francisco soon!

Next, read about the film locations in the hit TV show Gotham. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich