Tag Archives: Beverly Hills 90210 Filming locations

The 90210 Pilot Church

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A few days ago I sent Mike, from MovieShotsLA, a screen capture of the church featured in the pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210.  I had a hunch he might know where it was located – and, sure enough, he did!  He immediately called me and said “That’s the Spiderman  church!” as it was also used in the filming of Spiderman 3.  🙂  God, he’s good!  St. Brendan Church – or as Mike and I like to call it, the “pilot church” – was built in 1927 by Los Angeles area architect Emmett Martin. 

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In the pilot episode of 90210, Brenda, not wanting her new twenty-something boyfriend Jason to know that she is only sixteen years old and still living at home with her parents, lies and says that she is attending UCLA and living in a sorority house named Sigma Rho Tau.  After their first date, Jason drops Brenda off in front of her fake sorority house, which just happens to be located next door to a church.  That church is St. Brendan and that sorority house is not really a sorority house at all, but the church rectory.   As you can see in the above screen captures, all the producers had to do was add a sign with the sorority’s name to the outside of the rectory and cover up the stained glass window with a bulletin board – and voila, they had themselves a sorority house!

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While researching St. Brendan Church earlier today I remembered something very ironic from my past.  I can’t even believe I’m admitting to this – in a public forum no less – but you only live once, so here goes!  When I was in high school I receieved the Sacrament of Confirmation.  At the time I was fifteen years old and deep in the throws of my 90210  obsession.  So much so in fact, that I chose Brendan, after St. Brendan, as my confirmation name.  In the Catholic faith, when ones receives the Sacrament of Confirmation, they are to adopt the name of a patron saint who is said to then guide and protect them.  Confirmation candidates are supposed to study the history of the saints and find one that represents the type of Christian they want to become.  But for me the choice was easy.  Once I found out there was a saint named Brendan, that was it for me!  Of course, the female version of the name Brendan is Brenda.  🙂  Yes, I was THAT obsessed.  LOL  Being that my mother wanted to kill me when she found out the saint name I chose, this little episode of my life has been a long running joke in my family.  LOL  So earlier today when I found out that St. Brendan was the name of the 90210 church, I just about fell out of my chair.    

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St. Brendan actually has quite a rich filming history.  Besides the pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, the church was also featured in Armageddon as the location of Ben Affleck and Liv Tyler’s wedding.  You can watch the wedding scene here.

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It was the location of Stephanie Seymor and Axl Rose’s wedding in the Guns N’ Roses music video for the song “November Rain”.    On a side note – I must say that I absolutely LOVE Stephanie Seymour’s wedding dress from the video (pictured above).  I am gonna have to get me one of those for my wedding!  LOL  As if!!  🙂  You can watch the “November Rain” music video here.

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In the Season Four episode of  CSI: Miami entitled “From the Grave”, my fave Horatio Caine confessed his sins at Saint Brendan.  The church was also featured in the 1953 version of War of the Worlds (as the location where the residents of L.A. gather during the final scenes of the movie),  Spiderman 3 (the interior is where Topher Grace prayed for God to kill Peter Parker), Fight Club (Edward Norton’s cancer support group was held there), and an episode of Unsolved Mysteries.  You can see interior pics of the church on the Saint Brendan website.

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Beverly Hills, 90210  pilot church, aka St. Brendan, is located at 310 South Van Ness Avenue in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles.

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Anaconda!

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No, the above title does not refer to the 1997 JLo/Ice Cube action flick Anaconda (a movie I have never seen), but a Beverly Hills, 90210 episode of the same name.  The other day while I was hanging out on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, Mike (from MovieShotsLA) called me and asked if I wouldn’t mind stalking a nearby location for him.  He was looking for the pawn shop that down-on-his-luck Dylan visited in that Second Season episode, which he could tell from the above screen capture was located somewhere on 2nd Street in Santa Monica. 

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While watching the pawn shop scene, Mike immediately recognized the famous Santa Monica Crocker Clock Tower in the background behind Dylan.  The Crocker Clock Tower is somewhat of a landmark building in Santa Monica, most likely due to its unusual art deco style and size – it is the second tallest building in the city.  The clock tower is also famous for another reason, though.  On January 17, 1994, at 4:31 a.m. the Northridge Earthquake struck Los Angeles and its surrounding area.  The 6.7 magnitute quake not only rocked the city, but the Crocker Clock Tower as well, stopping its hands at the precise moment the first wave struck.  For over six years afterwards the clock’s hands remained frozen in time at 4:31 a.m., a constant reminder to all who viewed it of the devastating quake.  In 2000, the clock was finally fixed for the meager cost of $75,000.

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Using the clock tower (and the above screen capture) as his guide, Mike was able to figure out the exact location of Dylan’s pawn shop, which I am sad to say is no longer in business.   Such a bummer!  Currently a sound design company named RMD Entertainment occupies the space.  “Anaconda” was filmed 17 years ago and in that time a lot on 2nd street has changed.  While I haven’t been able to confirm it, I do believe that filming took place at an actual pawn shop that was once located in RMD’s space.   Although it is also a possibility that a fake pawn shop was set up in a vacant storefront at that location strictly for the filming of the “Anaconda” episode.  But I believe the former is true.

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I am constantly shocked when locations Mike and I stalk look different than how they appeared onscreen.  Mike is always telling me that I need to remember that these episodes were filmed almost two decades ago and that the locations where they were filmed will have changed considerably in twenty years time.  But since Beverly Hills, 90210  is so frozen in time for me, I am always expecting the locations to be frozen in time, as well, and am always shocked when I find that they aren’t.  LOL

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The pawn shop featured in “Anaconda” is now RMD Entertainment which is located at 1418 2nd Street in Santa Monica. The Crocker Clock Tower building is located just around the corner at 225 Santa Monica Boulevard.

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Beverly Hills, 90291

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A few weeks back while I was out stalking the Californication  house, Mike (from MovieShotsLA) and I set out on a mission to find Kelly Taylor’s house from the new 90210  series.   I had been searching for the house for quite some time and on this particular day I called Mike at work (poor guy!) and said “We are going to find that house today!”  I’m nothing if not determined!  Mike and I knew the house was located in Venice from an article that appeared in Entertainment Weekly this past summer, and since I was already in the area, I realized it was now or never!  I was not leaving Venice without finding that house.  🙂

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 Kelly’s house has appeared on 90210 quite a few times, beginning with the pilot episode.  And each time it appears, a plaque with the numbers “2229” is clearly visible in the background.  But neither Mike nor I could seem to find any area in Venice with house numbers in the 2200 range.  We found blocks with addresses of 2100, 2300, and 2400, but for some reason 2200 was nowhere to be found.  Mike had become convinced that the “2229” sign was just a prop added to the house for filming, but I held out hope.  Something told me that sign was really there. 

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Since Google Street View does not cover the Venice area, I acted as Mike’s eyes and ears driving around Venice while he sat in front of his computer at work looking at aerial maps.  LOL  My boyfriend always says how amazing it is that Mike and I managed to find each other.   I mean who else in their right mind would do this stuff with me??  LOL  Anyway, after driving around for a while I was just about ready to give up hope.  Then all of sudden, an idea struck Mike and he told me to head to Glyndon Avenue.  He had remembered working once in a quaint little section of Venice and thought it might be the area where Kelly’s house was located.  So, using my trusty GPS, I drove over to Glyndon Avenue and sure enough, there was the house – “2229” sign and all.  See, you should always trust a woman’s intuition!  🙂 

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Many episodes of 90210  were filmed at the actual Venice Beach house and I also believe that some interior filming took place there, as well.  This is apparent in both the pilot episode, in which fellow teacher Ryan stops by Kelly’s house, flowers in hand . . .

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. . . and the episode entitled “Secrets and Lies” in which Silver’s house party gets slightly out of hand.

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Kelly’s house is very cute and very picturesque in person.  In fact, it is just the type of house I would expect to find a grown-up Kelly Taylor living in.  Especially since she is so obviously still carrying a torch for Dylan and this house is so reminiscent of Dylan’s Craftsman style home from the original series.  🙂  I absolutely loved stalking Kelly’s house.  In fact, driving around Venice that day while talking to Mike on the phone will always be one of my fondest stalking memories!

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Kelly Taylor’s house is located at 2229 Glyndon Avenue in Venice.

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Donna Martin, Rose Princess

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When I first moved to Los Angeles about eight years ago, one of the very first items on my stalking agenda was to visit the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Headquarters.  I wanted to sign up for their annual Rose Court Pageant just like Donna Martin did in the Season 6 episode of 90210 entitled  “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”.  🙂  I was absolutely flabbergasted when after asking for an application the receptionist explained to me that in order to apply for the Rose Court I had to currently be in high school or in my first year of college (at the time I had just graduated from college).  I calmly told him that that simply wasn’t true as Donna was in her third year of college when she entered the pageant on 90210, to which he replied “Yes, but that was a TV show!”  LOL  I cannot believe 90210 decieved me like that!!  Anyway, even though my attempts at becoming Rose Queen were thwarted even before they began, I still loved being at the Tournament House and seeing where 90210 had filmed.  🙂

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The Tournament House was originally built for the Wrigley Family – yes, Wrigley as in the spearmint gum.  Construction on the home took over eight years and was finally completed in 1914.  At the time Orange Grove Boulevard was known as “Millionaires’ Row” due to the countless opulent mansions lining both sides of the street.  Sadly, most of those mansions are now long gone, torn down many years ago to make room for apartment complexes and smaller homes.  But the Tournament House remains.  When Mrs. Wrigley passed away in 1958, she deeded the home to the City of Pasadena with the specific instruction that it was to be used as the Tournament of Roses Headquarters, which it has remained ever since.

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The Tournament House, which sits on over 4 1/2 acres of beautifully manicured rose gardens, is absolutely beautiful in person.  The interior of the mansion is supposedly incredibly beautiful, as well, although I have never seen it.  Free tours of the House are offered every Thursday between 2pm and 4pm during the months of February through August and I think I am definitely going to have to partake in one soon.  🙂

The Rose Queen tradition began in 1905 and continues to this day.  It is so named because the Rose Queen reigns over Pasadena’s Annual Tournament of Roses Parade each New Years, riding on a special float.  Each year over 1,000 girls compete for the Rose Queen title, in a process that takes a month to complete.  Out of those thousand, one girl will become the Rose Queen and six others will become Rose Princesses in her Royal Court.  An interesting side note – actress Sophia Bush (of One Tree Hill  fame) won the Rose Queen title in the year 2000.  🙂  You can see a photograph of Sophia with her Court here.

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Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Tournament of Roses House is located at 391 South Orange Grove Blvd. in Pasadena.

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90210’s Baby Mama’s House

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While stalking the 90210  house last week, the owner, Jack, told Mike [of MovieShotsLA – as if you didn’t already know by now :)] and me about a few Beverly Hills, 90210  filming locations that we had yet to locate.  One location was the home of Brandon’s love interest from the Season 1 episode entitled “One Man and a Baby”.  In the episode Brandon dates an Ivy League hopeful named Melissa whom he later finds out is also a single, teenage mother.   The house used as Melissa’s in the episode just happens to be located directly across the street from the Walsh home in Altadena.  While re-watching the episode last night, I was cracking up at the scene when Brandon drives up to Melissa’s house to pick her up for their date, because in reality her home is located a hop, skip and a jump away from his home on the show.  LOL 

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 According to Jack, Melissa’s house looks very different today than it did when 90210  was filmed there back in 1990.  Today there is a large stucco wall surrounding the front of the home, which hides most of the property.  Sadly, the front door is the area of the home that was featured most prominently on 90210 and it is no longer visible from the street.  😦 

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Jack also told us that the same home’s pool area was also used in a few different 90210  episodes and I found one of those episodes yesterday.  In the Season 1 episode entitled “Every Dream Has Its Price”, the pool belonged to Brenda’s shoplifting friend Tiffany.  A short scene takes place there where Brenda confronts her sticky-fingered friend and gives her a lesson in good old Midwestern values.

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The very same pool, diving board, and bikini clad actress from that scene were also featured each week in 90210’s  opening credits.  🙂

The house was also featured in the 2008 film Finding Amanda  where it was used as Matthew Broderick’s home and in the Eva Longoria flick Over Her Dead Body  where the backyard was used for a wedding scene.  The home is currently for sale and for a mere $2,850,000 you can own a piece of 90210  history!  You can visit the home’s real estate website, which has interior pics of the house, here.  Ironically, the stairwell in the home looks very similar to the stairwell from the set of the Walsh house.  The real estate website also features some clips of movies featuring the home. LOVE IT!

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Melissa’s house is located at 1690 Altadena Drive, right across the street from the Walsh house.

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The Real Clark W. Griswold House?

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I absolutely love Christmastime!  Halloween may be my favorite holiday, but the weeks leading up to Christmas are definitely my favorite time of year.  Each November I start looking forward to the red and green decorations lining city streets, the twinkle lights adorning houses and store windows, Starbucks eggnog lattes, carolers, the general goodwill in the air, and even all the hustle and bustle.  I just love it!  But my absolute favorite thing to do during the Christmas Season is to drive around looking at the many homes decorated with multi-colored lights.  The very best, and most famous, decorated home in all of Los Angeles also just happens to be a filming location!  🙂  So, of course, I had to blog about it!

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 No family does Christmas decorations better than the Balian Family.  The Balians are the owners of the Los Angeles based Balian Ice Cream Company and they live in a big, pink mansion in Altadena.  Their 21 room home was built in 1922 and is commonly known around the L.A. area as “The Balian Mansion”. The Balians have been decorating their home for Christmas since 1955 and, let me tell you, it is truly a sight to behold!  I honestly think it must have been the real life inspiration for Clark Griswold’s Christmas light display in the movie Christmas Vacation.  While standing in front of the house, you can almost see the City of Altadena’s main power meter spinning out of control just like in the movie.  LOL 

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Never in my life have I seen a home as decorated for Christmas as the Balian Mansion is each year.  Every last inch of the 5,459 square foot house and its surrounding 3.5 acre lot seems to be completely covered in Christmas lights and Christmas decorations, including a life size nativity scene, painted signs and lighted plastic statues.  A few entrepreneurial souls even stand out front selling t-shirts and glow sticks out of their cars.  Visiting the Balian Mansion at Christmastime is definitely an event!  People come from miles around to behold the site in person and the streets around the mansion get extremely backed up with cars during the weeks leading up to Christmas.  This year it’ll propbably be even more crowded than normal, being that the mansion just got a shout out on AOL’s list of Top 12 Festive Holiday Homes.     

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 Although the mansion’s main claim to fame is its yearly Christmas light display, the home also made an appearance in an early episode of Beverly Hills, 90210.  The house shows up in the first season episode entitled “The First Time” in which Brandon’s girlfriend from Minnesota comes to visit.  In the episode, Brandon and Brenda pass by the Balian Mansion while driving home from school (pictured above).  At the time the mansion was painted brown, but today it is a bright pink color.   When I re-watched that episode recently, I almost fell out of my chair upon seeing the mansion, which I immediately recognized from my many pilgrimages there each December.

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The Balian Mansion is an L.A. Christmas tradition and I HIGHLY recommend stalking it!  If you are in the area during Christmas, you must, must, must drive by!  The lights are typically put up the first week in December and stay lit through the first week of January.  When I drove by the house yesterday it looked as if the lights were still being set up and I made my boyfriend take a pic of the many powerlines needed to light the house (shown above).  LOL  I can only imagine what their power outlets look like!!! 

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Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Balian Mansion is located at 1960 Mendocino Lane in Altadena.  If you are in the area, be sure to also make a stop at Christmas Tree Lane, which is located on Santa Rosa Avenue, just off Woodbury.  Christmas Tree Lane is a mile long stretch of huge cedar trees decorated with hundreds upon thousands of multi-colored lights.  It is absolutely magical.  Christmas Tree Lane, although not a movie location, is definitely a must see! 

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Casa Walsh

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Last Friday, Mike, from MovieShotsLA, and I set out to do a little Pasadena stalking.  Who knew that our day would hold the stalking adventure to end all stalking adventures!  Even as I sit here, days later, writing these words, I am pinching myself, unsure if the whole thing even really happened.  But since I have the photographs, I guess it really did.  🙂 

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On Friday afternoon, after stalking a few Pasadena locations, Mike and I stopped off at our old staple, the 90210  house, aka Casa Walsh.  Even though Mike and I had stalked this home countless times before, we had to return yet again as it is one location that we just never grow tired of.  On this particular trip, though, the stalking gods must have been smiling down on us because the owner of the home pulled up in his car right when we arrived.  So of course, we got to talking with him.  🙂

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The owner, whose name is Jack, could NOT have been a nicer guy!  He stood and talked with us in the Walsh driveway for about 45 minutes, sharing all sorts of 90210  stories and behind the scenes info.  For instance, he told us that on one occasion when they filmed at his house, producers cleared out all of his living room furniture and built a soundstage of Kelly’s bedroom in the vacant room!  LOL  He also told us that some of the camping scenes from the Season 2 episode entitled “Camping Trip” were actually filmed in his backyard!  And – my personal favorite story of the many Jack shared with us – one day he got home from work to find a message on his answering machine from a woman who said “Hi this is Emily Valentine and I wanted to let you know that I just got out of the asylum.”  LOL  Jack even told us of a few other 90210  filming locations that he knew about.  🙂  Now, this is where the story gets REALLY exciting.  After talking with us for a bit in his driveway, Jack invited us into his backyard to take some photos.

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Numerous events in the Walsh twins’ lives took place in Jack’s backyard,  including Cindy and Jim’s 20th wedding anniversary, Jackie Taylor and Mel Silver’s wedding, the painting of the gang’s homecoming float which was later doused with gasoline by Emily Valentine, and – my personal favorite – one of the first times Brenda lays eyes on Dylan. 

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In that episode, entitled “Isn’t It Romantic”, Dylan and Brandon are working on Brandon’s car Mondale in the Walsh backyard.  In the meantime, while speaking with Kelly on the phone, Brenda walks outside onto a little balcony to admire Dylan from afar, but he notices her and turns around to give her that cute Dylan smile that I was so in love with.  🙂  LOVE THAT SHOW!  Anyway, Brenda’s balcony is really a part of the Altadena home and I could not have been more excited to see it in person!  I believe it was at this point in our Casa Walsh tour, as Mike and I stood there snapping pictures like crazy and screaming like little schoolgirls, that Jack told us we both had way too much time on our hands.  LOL  🙂

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After seeing us go a bit crazy over being in the actual 90210  backyard, Jack (wait, are you sitting down for this???) INVITED US TO SEE THE INSIDE OF THE HOUSE!!!!  Yes, you read that right – HE INVITED US INSIDE THE HOUSE!  THE 90210 HOUSE!  BRANDON AND BRENDA’S HOUSE!  WE GOT TO GO INSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Mike and I both just about keeled over and died at this proposition and I am surprised we didn’t knock poor Jack to the floor as we made a running b-line for the house.  🙂  LOL  While inside, Jack first showed us some scrapbooks he had made with photographs and articles from his house’s filming days.   The scrapbooks included all sorts of photographs and memorabilia from the 90210  days, including photos of his kids with the stars and the original contract he signed allowing the production company to use his home for filming.  I couldn’t help but smile as I read one clause in the contract which stated that a basketball hoop would be added to the exterior of Jack’s garage.  🙂  That basketball hoop is now gone as Jack is in the middle of remodeling his garage (say it ain’t so!).  There were actually two different basketball hoops used during the filming of 90210 and when the series ended, Jack got to keep both of them.  Many years later he ended up giving both of those hoops away to 90210  fans who had stopped by his house to take pictures.  Like I said – what an amazingly nice guy!  Mike was extremely bummed that he wasn’t the lucky recipient of one of those basketball hoops, but we should consider ourselves lucky as Jack said that Mike and I were the first two fans he had ever invited inside the house.  🙂

The most surreal moment of the day for me happened when my phone rang while I was standing in the 90210  kitchen.  You see, my ring tone is, and always has been, the 90210  theme song.  I kid you not.  So there I was standing in Casa Walsh when the familiar strains of “Duh-nuh-nuh-nuh” came pouring out of my phone.  LOL  After looking at Jack’s 90210  scrapbooks, he took us on a mini-tour of the downstairs of his home.  I was in utter shock not only at the fact that he would invite us into his home, but also that I WAS ACTUALLY STANDING INSIDE THE 90210  HOUSE!  I had dreamed of seeing the inside of that home for YEARS and the only thing I can imagine that would have been more satisfying to a stalker like myself would be to have visited the studio set of the Walsh home during filming.  I had read that the set of Casa Walsh was based on the real interiors of the Altadena home and on Friday I saw for myself that that was sort of true.  While the kitchen area looks nothing like Cindy Walsh’s kitchen, the entryway, living room and dining room are all very similar to what we saw on TV.  When walking inside the house it was like worlds were colliding inside my head as the image I knew of the interior sets meshed with reality.  It was surreal and almost as if my brain couldn’t accept both images at the same time.  LOL

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The dining room area, which was just re-painted and therefore has no furniture in it, is very reminiscent of the Walsh dining room.

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The living room is also quite similar to its television counterpart, except that it is longer and not quite as deep as the Walsh living room.  In real life it is also missing the Walsh’s built-in bookshelves.

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The area of the home I was most excited to see was the entryway/stairwell, as the Walsh’s entryway/stairwell was shown so often on the show.  In reality, the stairway is situated like a mirrior image of how it appeared on 90210.  The stairs run from the left to the right, while the Walsh stairway went from right to left.  I asked Jack why he thinks they made this change for the studio set and he said he thinks that it worked better for camera angles that way.  Aside from the stairway running the opposite direction, the real entryway looks very similar to the Walsh entryway and I still cannot believe I got to see it with my own two eyes!

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Of course, we just had to take a picture with Jack in the entryway to document our time spent at Casa Walsh.  On our way out, after giving Jack our phone numbers and telling him that if he ever needed ANYTHING to give us a call :), Mike told him that if he ever decided to sell Casa Walsh he wanted to be the first to know.  🙂 

I still can hardly believe this whole thing even happened!!  Mike and I seem to have a lot of luck when it comes to stalking 90210  locations, and I think I need to bring him with me on all of my stalking adventures from now on.  🙂 

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Casa Walsh is located at 1675 E. Altadena Drive, in Altadena.  We got really lucky being let inside the house, but please don’t bother the owner to do this yourself as it is not his common practice.

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