Major Fresh Prince of Bel Air fan Bryan posted a comment on my original Fresh Prince post asking me to please, please, please find the actual location of the mansion used as the Banks’ house on the 90s show. Bryan told me he had been looking for this location for years and every tour book seemed to have gotten it wrong. Being that I know the feeling of complete desperation in not being able to find a location, I made it my mission to find the house for him! I am sad to say it took me a really long time! I have literally stopped to take a picture of every single colonial style mansion I have driven by over the past month to compare to a picture Bryan had sent me of the Fresh Prince house. I was absolutely convinced I had located the right house on two separate occasions, but after coming home to compare pictures, I found I was completely wrong.
Then the other night, a lightbulb went off in my head. I decided to look at a filming locations website – the same one where I located the Shark House. Why I didn’t think of this sooner, I have no idea, because in a matter of minutes I was pretty sure I had found the house! I immediately emailed a picture of the house to Bryan and he confirmed it for me, as did the location company. Then I set off to Brentwood (NOT Bel Air) to stalk the house.
Unfortunately my pictures came out absolutely horrible!! There are many trees in front of the Banks’ mansion and I could not get my camera to focus correctly on the house through the trees. My dad, who has a much better camera than I do, has promised to stalk the house with me later to take some better pics. The good news, though, is that if you drive by the house, you can definitely see it clearly through the trees and I am so happy to report that it looks EXACTLY the same as it did back in the Fresh Prince days. I was just standing there waiting for a taxi cab to drive up with dice in the mirror. 🙂
An ironic side note – I randomly watched the pilot episode of 90210 the other night and featured on that episode, big as life, was the incorrectly identified Fresh Prince house from my first post! It was used as the location of the Beverly Hills mansion where Brandon and Brenda attend their first West Beverly High party. Since both the pilot episodes of 90210 and Fresh Prince were filmed around the same time back in 1990, my thought is that people and neighbors saw 90210 being filmed at the house and since neither show was well-known at all at that time, heard it was a show about “Beverly Hills” and got it confused when a show about “Bel Air” premiered. Through incorrect word of mouth and communication error, the location wound up in tour books as the Fresh Prince house. That’s my theory anyway. 🙂
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: The Fresh Prince house is located at 251 N. Bristol Avenue, at the corner of Bristol Avenue and Parkyns Street, in Brentwood. Katherine Heigl’s sister’s house from the movie Knocked Up is located just up the road at 531 N. Bristol, but unfortunately that home is now gated and not much can be seen at all from the street. The incorrectly identified Fresh Prince house, where the Walsh twins went to their first Beverly Hills party, is located in Bel Air, at 417 Amapola Lane.