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Location of their apartment building


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#1
Steve

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Alright, Wolowitz Wanna-Be's: Unlike Wolowitz, we don't have access to a spy satellite to cruise over the city and try to find 'the house', but can we spot a likely apartment building using Google Earth and Street View? I noticed the other day that we can see the dome of the Pasadena City Hall through Sheldon and Leonard's window. Yes, I know it's pretend, thank you very much, but in the best tradition of the boys' Superman discussions, what does that tell us about where their apartment building would be located? Are there any five-storey apartment buildings within a block or two of City Hall in Pasadena? Possible clues to consider: - taking Euclid is the most direct route to Caltech from their apartment - driving from their apartment, Howard suggested that they 'turn left on Lake' to get to Colorado and the sushi bar that has karaoke (although they may have been driving around for a bit before that point) - since the stairs lead up from the 4th floor, there must be at least one more floor in their building, so it's at least 5 storeys tall. - the building next door is the same height with a 3-foot gap between, and it's also an apartment building Anything else I'm missing?

#2
Marlon

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The location isn't based on a real building.. Why?

In Episode "The Euclid Alternative" Penny drives Sheldon to work.
In the first 10 seconds, we see this.

Posted Image

I've located it on Google Maps (Thank you Google Streetview Registered Trademark), you can see the similarities. Hence this is in the first 10 seconds of the scene, we can conclude they haven't been to long on the road already.

But, when you look at the position of Pasadena City Hall, It's way out of direction. So logically, this is not possible.

Posted Image

Pictures are copyrighted by Google Maps

#3
Steve

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We know it's not based on a real building exactly; it's just fun to pretend that it's real and make some guesses. Where would it be IF it was a real building? Are there any apartment buildings that close to City Hall? Steve (check out the Wiki!)

#4
Resident_Of_4A

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Its nice to see people have been trying to guess where exactly their apartment would be.

#5
awrus

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The location isn't based on a real building.. Why?

But, when you look at the position of Pasadena City Hall...

The Big Bang Theory apartment building
Posted Image
From Russia With Love :icon_cheesygrin:

#6
Aussie Big Bang Fan

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In the episode where Sheldon lends Penny money she rushes into the apartmnent and tells Sheldon about ther financial dilemna Sheldon says, "Penny, I'm not sure I feel comfortable harbouring a fugitive from the 2311 North Los Robles Corporation." Is that their address?

#7
Steve

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Yes, that's presumably the address. It's nowhere near City Hall, I'm afraid. In fact, from what I can tell, that address doesn't even exist. From what I can tell, the addresses don't go past 2000 on N. Los Robles. Someone from Pasadena can verify that maybe? Steve

#8
Aussie Big Bang Fan

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On a sort of tangential topic. I have wondered for years........ How are house numbers derived in the US. House numbers always seem to be in the thousands. In Australia houses/building street numbers are almost always much smaller. A street has one end designated as the "zero" end and all houses on one side are numbered with even numbers 2,4,6,8 etc and the opposite side of the street odd numbers1,3,5 etc Average streets have numbers up to about a hundred or less. It would have to be a very long, long street here to get up to the 1000's, let alone 2311. How do you number them in the US to get house numbers of multiple thousands being the norm?

#9
x20mandor

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ONE WAY THE NUMBERS ARE ASSIGNED IS BY LOT NUMBER.(A LOT BEING A 1/4 ACRE).THIS MEANS THAT YOUR NEIGHBORS NUMBER MAY BE "50" , BUT YOUR NUMBER MAY BE "54" EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE NO HOUSES BETWEEN. THAT IS THE WAY IT IS NEAR ME,BUT I DO NOT KNOW IF THAT IS STANDARD THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.FOR INSTANCE I ONLY HAVE EIGHT HOUSES ON MY STREET , BUT MY NUMBER IS "43".

#10
KS Nerd

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OK, given last week’s image out the window what do we know about where it’s shot?
The Pasadena City hall dome really limits the location. One can see thru two of the arches almost dead on. That REALLY limits it to 8 angles. Throw out the ones to the north ( no mountains in the background) and now there are only four directions that can work, ESE, SSE, SSW and WSW.

Secondly, there a red tiled building to the right of the dome and it’s at least as tall as the window. There’s a building that fit’s the bill across the street on the SW edge of the City hall complex.

Lastly there’s a medium sized mountain in the background, not a continuous ridge as with Mount Wilson and it’s chain. I suspect the mountain is Flint Peak to the WNW.

And given the shot is only a slight telephoto, it has to be shot within a block or two of the Pasadena City Hall.

All this constrains the shot to someplace in the North Wing, West side of the Westin of Pasadena. Oh and it’s address? The Westin in Pasadena is at 191 N. Los Robles Ave. It’s five stories tall. Tall enough to block any other view to the SW of the Pasadena City Hall.

The location isn’t an apartment but I’m 80% to 90% sure the photo was shot here.
Interestingly it also fits the other clues given while the characters are driving to Caltech.

Any thoughts?

And NO, I don’t have OCD….. My mom had me checked….

#11
white_knight

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Have any checked the windows from penny's appartment too? or just the justice league's?

#12
ottonomy

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I believe I have pinpointed the building from which those views from the apartment window would have been possible. It's a commercial building owned by Western Asset, its official address 385 E Colorado Blvd (bottom of my photo, as viewed from the Colorado & Los Robles Ave side). It's a five story building, and from the back side, one would be able to see the dome of City Hall beyond a tile-roofed apartment building (circled in blue) in view on the right, about half way between. From this vantage point, looking northwest, some foothills should be in view in the background. The parking lot of Western Asset exits onto Union St, from which the first logical turn to head to CalTech would be southbound onto Euclid Ave.

One of Pasadena's few red light cameras is installed on the corner of Union and Marengo Ave, where Sheldon was caught running the light on the way to the emergency room with Penny. This would be the logical path to Huntington Memorial Hospital from that location.

The Westin hotel, which sits on the north side of Union St, would not afford the view of the tile roofed multi-story building in the righthand foreground.

On the subject of American street addresses, it is the convention in most US cities to advance the address numbers by one hundred for each city block. There are rarely enough individual lots to use all of them up, so the addresses typically jump by fives or tens. This practice has the advantage of making it very easy to guess what part of town someplace is in based on the address number. For example, in Pasadena, all address numbers count upward from the corner of Colorado Blvd and Fair Oaks Ave. If someone tells me that a bank is located at 2500 E Colorado Blvd, I can guess that it's approximately 25 blocks east of Fair Oaks, on the south side of the street (another convenient convention is for even numbers to be on the south or east side of streets and odd ones to be on the north or west).

Los Robles Ave does indeed stop just shy of the fictitious 2311 North address, in the middle of the 2000 block, which you can guess is about 20 blocks north of Colorado Blvd.

Another rule of thumb, which is not so nearly universal, but helpful when implemented, is for 'Streets' to run east/west, and 'Avenues' to run north/south. Pasadena obeys all these practices very well in most areas outside of old-town, where certain addresses were established before such things had been given much thought.

Posted Image

#13
Hanna Wolowitz

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Wow.
Let's go there!
Tomorrow's Pizza night

#14
ottonomy

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Alas, it is with great disappointment that I must announce the following: Upon further investigation (read first hand location scouting), the building I suggested above, though it fits the bill more closely than any other, cannot be the site of Leonard and comrades' apartment. Furthermore, the view we are afforded from the apartment window cannot be at all. The tile roofed building that I referred to above has features on the south side of it that would preclude it from being the one we see. There are a number of buildings in the immediate vicinity which roughly resemble it in one way or another, including the Westin Hotel, but none of them have the right combination of architectural features, position vis-à-vis City Hall and the backdrop of foothills, height, and alignment with another comparably tall building from which the vista could exist. I am utterly deflated, as so many of the little Pasadena pieces of this puzzle seemed to fit together, but it seems that what we see from their window is either a composite of some unknown building and the city hall dome, juxtaposed for realistic local flavor, or an archival photo including a building which has since been razed in the name of progress. The latter option is worth investigating, just in case Leonard et al live in a parallel Pasadena, following an alternate course of history... :icon_eek:

If anyone is interested in seeing photos from the area and buildings that weren't quite right enough to be the one, let me know, and I shall upload them...

#15
jcc551f9n

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I'm sure it's Brookmore Apartments at 189 N. Marengo Ave (www.brookmoreapts.com). It's a 1920s apartment building a block and a half from city hall. It's near Caltech and the Cheesecake Factory and Euclid is one of the streets you can take to get from there to Caltech. I lived in the building for two years and the inside looks like the exact replica of the Big Bang Theory apartments. Exposed brick, stairwell looping around the elevator, very similar front doors as the show. And the Brookmore Apartments elevator was always broken. Even the laundry room looks the same. A number of Caltech and JPL physicists live there as well as more than one aspiring actress.

#16
ottonomy

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I'm sure it's Brookmore Apartments at 189 N. Marengo Ave (www.brookmoreapts.com). It's a 1920s apartment building a block and a half from city hall. It's near Caltech and the Cheesecake Factory and Euclid is one of the streets you can take to get from there to Caltech. I lived in the building for two years and the inside looks like the exact replica of the Big Bang Theory apartments. Exposed brick, stairwell looping around the elevator, very similar front doors as the show. And the Brookmore Apartments elevator was always broken. Even the laundry room looks the same. A number of Caltech and JPL physicists live there as well as more than one aspiring actress.


Hmm... The Brookmore Apartments were one of the first places I considered, when trying to guess where the apartment might be. You're spot on about the stairs and elevator. I remember delivering pizzas there in the eighties. It was run down, and the halls were lined with addicts, prostitutes, and their dealers and pimps. The renaissance of old Pasadena had changed it by the late nineties, when I started working as a locksmith and made frequent appearances there to open locked doors for people who were better at rocket science than at keeping track of their keys. It was an odd mix, mostly students from Art Center College of Design, Cal Tech, and Fuller Seminary. Artists, geeks, and bible students. I felt right at home, having never quite fit with the regular crowd. It's amazing how much the place has improved, though the elevator was indeed not working when last I was there.

The view from the windows of the Brookmore wouldn't fit with what we see in the show. The four level parking structure across the street wouldn't afford as complete a view of city hall, and the only building which would be visible to the right of the city hall dome, the old YMCA, doesn't have the tile roof or the right rows of windows. Neither is there a mountain range to the southeast of the Brookmore. Also, Penny's apartment would not have in view any of the green steel roofing that is seen from her windows. All that being said, I think the Brookmore is the right answer. I'm guessing the views of the outside world were mocked up to replace the lackluster immediate surroundings with appropriate images from nearby. What do you think? I'm going to make the short pilgrimage there, and see if I can't snap a photo or two from an upstairs window, just to see how right I am, or not...

Posted Image

#17
Super-Norm

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Anybody think they can get a hold of Chuck Lorre and ask him? That would help a lot with the whole thing, they might not have even thought any of it out. What if all the information is completely random?

#18
william

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It make's no mind to me as I'm in the UK but what are you going to do when you find out? maybe dress up as cable repair men eh' and party with the super models sorry the 2nd part of season 3 is starting tonight
you boy's go have fun

#19
Super-Norm

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Oh my lord, it's like you read my mind. That's exactly what I plan to do!

#20
ottonomy

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@Super-Norm - I'm afraid it will be a bit disappointing to learn the truth about the actual filming location, most likely just a set somewhere on a studio lot. I'd prefer to continue on with my imagination... which begs the question, why have I spent so much time driving around the neighborhood of Pasadena City Hall, scouting these structures, when I've already proven to myself that the building, as portrayed in the show, cannot physically exist? Because it's FUN.

The Brookmore Apartments mentioned above have no fifth floor, which would put Alicia's 5A apartment on the roof. I'm not sure how Sheldon would feel about that. The apartment building circled in blue (in my first photo above) has five floors, and it's otherwise situated to fit properly with the script's location references in the show. Its view of city hall would be rather like that which we see from the apartment window, less the large tile roofed building, which appears not to exist at all. The movie "To Live and Die in LA" has some great footage looking down at the intersection of Los Robles Ave and Walnut St, which just might offer a look at what once stood where the Westin Hotel does now. I'll have to watch it again and pay attention...




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