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Film > Ghostbusters > Filming Locations > New York -- City Hall Loading Dock
City Hall Loading Dock

Manhattan Municipal Building
1 Centre Street
New York, NY 10007

* Google Maps street view

History - written by Chris Buchner (used with permission)
In actuality, the building is the Manhattan Municipal Building. Built between 1913 and 1918, it houses many of the city government's agencies, including the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Comptroller's office, the Borough President's office, the City Clerk's office, WNYC radio, NYC TV Network and the Department of Finance.

By 1884, City Hall had become overcrowded as it attempted to grow in services to match the needs of the rapidly growing populace of the city. In 1884, Mayor Abraham Hewitt devised a commission to select a site for a building where the city could move some of their offices and get out of rental space held by private landlords. After winning the design competition in 1908, the firm of McKim, Mead & White began construction the following year. By this time, New York City had grown from 1 million people to 4.5 million and 5 boroughs.

The firm's first skyscraper, it's one of the largest government office buildings in the world. The building was completed in 1915, even though the first offices were occupied in 1913. By 1916, most of the offices were occupied and opened to the public. The building facade is covered in sculptures and designs reminiscent of Roman culture.

At the very top of the "Muni" building is a statue 3 times life size called Civic Fame, designed by Adolph A. Weinman (1870-1952). Weinman was also responsible for many of the artistic decorations and statues throughout the Muni building. Together, Weinman and the firm of McKim, Mead & White led what would be called the American Renaissance, a movement to integrate all forms of design as a whole in regards to architecture.

20 Years Later: Where Ecto pulled out is now a guard house and a motorized barricade to allow certain cars in or out. You can, however, walk into the plaza with no problem. Bernard Rosenthal's "Five In One" sculpture (see Fun Facts) is now painted red.

Fun Facts
  • The Manhattan Municipal Building was completed in 1915, has 33 elevators, and hosts 80 four-minute weddings per day. (from the official New York City Fun Facts Shockwave file)
  • There is no 4th floor in the Manhattan Municipal Building. (from the official New York City Fun Facts Shockwave file)
  • The statue, Civic Fame, which stands a top the Manhattan Municipal Building was restored in 1991 by the same firm that restored the Statue of Liberty. The restoration took 114 days. Once the restoration was complete, the statue was put back in place with a helicopter. (from the official New York City Fun Facts Shockwave file)
  • Scaffolding that covered the Manhattan Municipal Building during its renovation in the early 1990s was in the Guiness Book of World Records. After its use, the City sold it as scrap metal, resulting in great savings to the City. (from the official New York City Fun Facts Shockwave file)
  • The archway under the Municipal Building was originally designed as a pedestrian entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge. (from the official New York City Fun Facts Shockwave file)
  • During the loading dock scene after the camera pans over and stops on Ecto-1, you can see a gray object in the far background. That is Bernard Rosenthal's "Five In One" sculpture. It is a structure 30 feet tall made up of five circles intertwined and composed of 75 tons of steel. Rosenthal's original plans called for it to be painted red, but money concerns left it unpainted for about two decades. (text written by Chris Buchner)
  • Located next to/across the street from the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse.

Movie Shots
  


Real World Photos

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Batman Forever (1995)
Bruce Wayne goes to visit Dr. Chase Meridian at her office. The shot starts on the top of the Municipal building, then pans down to see Bruce driving up to the building (31 Chambers St.) across the street. The word "Manhattan" on the building has been digitally changed to "City Hall", which I guess means that it's supposed to be Gotham City City Hall in the movie. Also, the background area under the arch has been digitally altered to include a gothic griffin statue and some steel beams. (High-resolution Blu-ray frame grabs done by me, Paul Rudoff)

You can buy the movie in the following formats: 1-Disc DVD, 2-Disc DVD, Blu-ray, 4 Film DVD, 4 Film Blu-ray.

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The Jerky Boys (1995)
Near the end of the film we see the building as it's supposed to be the exterior of the Jerky Boys' office.


Front

Top (looking up)

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Cop Land (1997)
Police headquarters is located behind the Municipal building, so when small town sheriff Freddy Heflin (Sylvester Stallone) has to pay a visit to Lt. Moe Tilden (Robert De Niro), he comes out of the subway across the street and marvels at the metropolis of New York City. Freddy goes under the Municipal Building's archway (where the Ghostbusters drove out) on his way to police headquarters. Later, at the climax of the film, a bloody Freddy is driven with a police escort under the archway to police headquarters. That red disc-like sculpture, that was seen in the background in Ghostbusters, is seen a little better a few times. The film ends with a camera pans up to the top of the building.

The movie has been released in Theatrical and Director's Cut versions (comparison). The Director's Cut (with bonus features) can be found on Blu-ray, DVD, and Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack. The Theatrical Cut can be found on Anamorphic DVD(?) and Letterboxed DVD. Apparently, the only Region 1 Blu-ray release of the Theatrical Cut is the Canadian DVD from Alliance Atlantic(?), which is noted by the text "Detectives" in tiny print under the title on the front cover. The Theatrical Cut has a different ending than the Director's Cut.

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Ghostbusters (2016)
Paul Feig's ill-fated parody remake features a few locations from the original movies. The Municipal building actually pops up three times. First you see the back of it as the camera pans down to the new Ecto-1 driving past 60 East Broadway enroute to the Stonebrook Theatre. (This instance is not shown below.) A few seconds later the car turns the corner right in front of it. Later on, when the Ghostbusters are taken to City Hall to meet with the Mayor, the back of the building is shown again as an establishing shot.

The movie has been released in Theatrical and Extended Cut versions on Blu-ray, DVD (Theatrical only), and 4K Ultra HD/3D Blu-ray/2D Blu-ray Combo Pack.

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