Friday, July 1, 2011

Iwalked New York City’s Ghostbusters Building

Ghostbusters Building - 55 Central Park West is known by many simply as the Ghostbusters Building, as it was the location where Sigourney Weaver’s character classical musician Dana Barrett lived on its 22nd floor. At the 1984 film’s climatic ending we see the Ghostbusters gang battle the demi-god Zuul atop the rooftop. All of these rooftop scenes, however, were filmed in at the Warner Brothers studios in Burbank, California. This apartment co-op was purely used for exterior shots.

When producers of the film initially began their hunt for an apartment that had the right paranormal look or feel, 55 Central Park West was actually not their 1st choice. The producers had their hearts set on an Art Deco apartment in the Village located at 1 Fifth Avenue. The building’s co-op, however, politely declined the opportunity.

Ghostbusters Building
Ghostbusters Building
In the film, Ghostbusters, it is mentioned that this building was designed by an insane architect named Ivo Shandor in 1920. In actuality it was designed by a quite sane firm named Schwartz & Gross who built the 19-story Art Deco structure in 1930. When it was introduced in 1930, 55 Central Park West was actually the 1st Art Deco building in the area. It opened initially as an apartment offering units with 1-4 bedrooms and was largely considered second-class amongst many of its more elite neighbors.

The building is now a 109-unit cooperative building and has taken on a bit more prestige. Current and former tenants have included the likes of Ginger Rogers and Calvin Klein. Not surprisingly, the most desired apartments are the top floor units of 19 and 20F which comprise a 4,500 square foot space with 11’ ceilings and 1000 square foot terrace.

One subtle but fascinating aspect to the building’s exterior its brick pattern. Start at the 1st floor and slowly move your gaze upwards. You should notice that the brick pattern begins with a dark red at the base and slowly gets lighter to a more yellowish hue at the top. This intentional trick actually makes use of approximately forty different colored bricks to leave the impression that the building is constantly in sunlight as it shines through the trees of Central Park.

We should also not forget that Dana Barrett of Ghostbusters is not the only famous fictional character to have resided at 55 Central Park West. Fans of the 2003 film Elf may recognize this building as where Buddy the Elf pays a surprising visit to the home of his estranged father, Walter.

  • Website:
  • Address: 55 Central Park West, New York City, NY
  • Cost: Free