Where to Find the Ghostbusters Firehouse and Apartment Building
This post is a self-guided tour of Ghostbusters locations throughout New York City, including the most famous: the firehouse used as the Ghostbusters base camp, the haunted apartment building where Dana Barrett lived, and the New York Public Library where the team encounters its first ghost. Below is an interactive mapof locations, information about each site and tips about things to do in the neighborhoods where each site is located. New York City is a dream come true for GHOSTBUSTERS fans – both the original version and the new 2016 version. As you probably know, several key locations from the movie are right here in NYC and you want to know where they are! Who ya gonna call? Free Tours By Foot!
You now have the chance to be a Ghostbuster yourself at Madame Tussauds in Times Square. In the exhibit Ghostbusters: Dimension, you’ll suit up, strap on a proton pack and gun, and blast your way through a ghost-infested apartment complex. This unique – and exhilarating experience uses combination of virtual reality, real-time interactive effects, and a physical set and is not like anything you have experienced before. You dint even need to be a Ghostbusters fan to appreciate this high tech adventure. See our post on Visiting Madame Tussauds and enjoy the Ghostbusters experience.
MAP OF GHOSTBUSTERS LOCATIONS
To use the map, click on the left corner icon to see the map from within this post. To see the map in a separate tab, click the icon on the right corner.
THE FIREHOUSE 14 North Moore Street and Varick Street
The most recognizable location from the movies, this will probably be the first GB site you’ll want to see. This firehouse was ghostbusting central in Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. In the 2016 remake of the movie, the firehouse makes two appearances. In an ironic homage to the original movies, the team declines to rent the space to start their business because they couldn’t afford the exorbitant rent of $21,000 per month. (That rent is actually pretty accurate, as the surrounding neighborhood is very posh). The firehouse shows up again when the Mayor gives the team the firehouse to use as their new headquarters, in gratitude for saving the city from a ghost invasion.
In real life the firehouse, built in 1903, belongs to Hook and Ladder Company #8. (You can read more about this historic firehouse in our self-guided tour of Tribeca.) It’s reported that this firehouse was chosen by the movie’s writer and main actor Dan Aykroyd, who was familiar with the area and liked the building. This unique looking firehouse is immediately recognizable as the Ghostbusters Headquarters. However, it was only used for the exterior scenes! Interior scenes were filmed in both a Los Angeles film studio and in a decommissioned Los Angeles firehouse.Inside the firehouse, photos of the cast are displayed, including a shot of superstar ghost Ecto 1. The firemen here at Hook and Ladder Company #8 are known to be super welcoming to visitors.
“SPOOK CENTRAL” Dana and Louis’s apartment building 55 Central Park West at 66th Street
This building features prominently in the 1984 film, including the climactic final scene. In the film, Dana Barrett (played by Sigourney Weaver) and Louis Tully (played by Rick Moranis) live on the 22nd floor, aka Spook Central. Dana notices some inexplicable activity in her apartment – enter the Ghostbusters team to get to the bottom of things. As you surely know, turns out that a crazy Cult of Gozer chose the building as the location to build their super-conductive antenna and portal to bring forth the “divine” master Gozer in its Destructor Form (which turns out to be the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man).
As you can see, in real life the building is shorter. The script called for 27 floors, but the building is only 19 stories. So the art department created paintings of the extra floors and the temple and used ‘special effects’ that in 1984 were cutting edge, but now seem ancient! Since the building is surrounded by other buildings, it has a less menacing appearance than in the movie. Also, the church that the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man crushes is still standing.
Tavern on the Green Central Park West & West 67th Street
In an effort to escape from Gozer’s demon dog, Louis runs through Central Park in the dark of night — something we do not recommend you do! He ends up at the restaurant Tavern on the Green and bangs on the glass furiously but the diners ignore him. He is then possessed by the dog. Tavern on the Green is a much beloved NYC restaurant visited by people for very special occasions. It has always been known for its garden ringed by twinkling lights and surrounded by life size topiary in the shapes of animals. Despite being such a renowned restaurant that served 700,000 meals annually, it closed in 2009. New owners purchased it and it reopened in 2014.
New York Public Library 5th Avenue between 42nd and 40th Street
The film’s first scene takes place in one of New York City’s most spectacular buildings – the New York Public Library. It is here that we get a first glimpse of the supernatural presence in NYC. The haunted stacks scene wasn’t filmed in the actual library though. The interior scenes set in the Public Library were filmed in the Los Angeles Central Library. Regardless, the Public Library is a must-see iconic building. The inside is spectacular so take advantage of the free tours of the Public Library and see for yourself.
As you see from the map above, many scenes take place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Columbus Circle is a major intersection that is an unofficial gateway to the Upper West Side. In the movie, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man crashes through Columbus Circle spreading fear and destruction in what is actually a pretty lovely place in reality. Columbus Circle is at the Southwest entrance to Central Park.
After the incident at the library, Peter, Egon and Ray get fired from the Parapsychology Department at their university. The below scene was filmed on the campus is one of the country’s most prestigious universities – though, perhaps sadly, they do not have a Parapsychology Department. As they drink booze from a flask outside of Weaver Hall (in real life it is Havemeyer Hall, home to science and math classes), they hatch their plan to become paranormal investigators for hire.
Rockefeller Center 5th Avenue between 49th and 50th Street
After the team’s successful battle with Slimer, they start getting a lot of business. They get a call for assistance and they hop in the Ecto I and speed through the streets up to Rockefeller Center. You can see them existing the complex past the bronze statue of Prometheus. According to a Time Out 2014 interview with director Ivan Reitman, Rockefeller Center’s management would not give their permission for the film shoot. That didn’t stop them from filming there anyway. Reitman said, “we just pulled up in two vans, and I said to the guys, “Run all the way down there, and when you get to the end, just start running back.” They luckily got in one good film take before Rockefeller Center security guards caught on. Reitman recalls he simply said ‘Oh, we’re sorry, we thought this was public land.’ We just got back in the vans and left.”
While it is impossible to not see Times Square at night, it’s easy to miss its appearance in Ghostbusters. After Dana is possessed by Zuul, she sends out a seductive signal to Louis, now possessed by Vinz Clortho, who is wandering through the city. He hears Dana/Zuul’s signal while he is walking through Times Square and begins to make his way to the apartment. For some reason, the directors chose not to highlight the location in this scene, but for those familiar with New York City, you know it is Times Square because you can see in the left of the frame the base of the statue of George M. Cohan. You can also just barely make out the big red letters of the TKTS sign in the top right of the frame.
Note: If you plan on going to see a Broadway show, you should read out our post about the TKTS discount ticket booth and other ways to get discounts to see a Broadway show.
City Hall inside City Hall Park, located between Broadway and Park Row just south of Chambers Street
As ghosts have begun to run rampant through the city, the Mayor calls in the team to find out more about the situation that has grown out of hand. In the movie you see them running up the steps of City Hall and meet with the frantic Mayor. Ray warns the Mayor that the city is headed for a disaster of “biblical proportions.” Venkman tells the Mayor that if he lends his support to the team, he would be saving the lives of millions of registered voters. The Mayor offers whatever support he can to the Ghostbusters. It is highly doubtful that in 1812, when City Hall was built, the Mayor or anyone else in fact, could imagine a giant marshmallow man wreaking havoc through the city. The marshmallow hadn’t even been invented yet!
Take a tour of Wall Street. Click here to see the options and a link to a self-guided tour.
National Museum of the American Indian One Bowling Green
In Ghostbusters II, the team is called in to investigate paranormal activity beneath the Manhattan Art Museum. No such museum exists, so the filmmakers used the exterior of the National Museum of the American Indian. This museum has a long and interesting history in addition to being a beautiful Beaux-Arts building that is worth seeing up close.
If you prefer to visit these sites on a guided tour, offers a NYC TV and Movie Tour, which includes Ghostbusters locations. Some of On Location Tours are included in the New York Pass and Explorer Pass. If you aren’t sure if you should purchase a tourist pass, read our post on Is a Tourist Discount Pass Right for You?