8 Hidden Chicago Film Locations
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Chicago's mix of iconic, historical and hidden landmarks has made the city a popular stomping ground for film and TV directors, with recent productions of Chicago Fire, Jupiter Ascending, Divergent, and the Transformers series, among others. And while most people can recognize the city's elevated trains from Batman Begins, and the Art Institute and Wrigley Field for their appearances in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, it can take some poking around to find many of the tucked-away places that catch directors' eyes. Patrick Muldoon and Nick Jamison, two location scouts currently working on Chicago PD, shared photos of their favorite movie and TV sites with Bisnow.
1. Fisk Generating Station
Location: 1111 W Cermak Rd
Film credit: Chicago PD
Development news: The former power plant, located in Pilsen, has been closed since 2012. City officials announced earlier this year that redevelopment plans could include a new CTA bus garage.
2. Rosenwald Apartments
Location: 4626 S Michigan Ave
Film credit: Transformers 3
Development news: The vacant Rosenwald Apartments complex, which stretches along almost an entire city block, doubled as Chernobyl in the Transformers movie series. A group of local developers plans to rehab the Grand Boulevard property, about six miles south of the Loop, into 239 units of senior and affordable housing.
3. South Holden Court and East 11th St
Location: South Loop
Film credit: Chicago PD: Season 2
4. Damen Silos
Location: 2900 S Damen Ave
Film credit: Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Mob Doctor: Season 1, Transformers 4, Supernatural: Bloodlines
Development news: This John Metcalf-designed property was built in 1906. The state's Department of Central Management Services tried and failed to find a buyer for the property in 2007, with the minimum bid set at $17.3M, and again last year—even with a much lower minimum of $3.8M. Lately, the silos have been popular with graffiti artists and urban survivalists.
5. Lower Lower Wacker Drive
Location: The Loop
Film credit: The Dark Knight, Transformers 3, Transformers 4
6. City-owned warehouse
Location: Pershing Road and Damen Avenue
Film credit: Mob Doctor, Divergent, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire
Development news: This city-owned warehouse is part of Chicago's largest planned manufacturing district, the Central Manufacturing District, founded in 1892. The area is now a frequent stop for historic tours of the city, and has caught the interest of some developers who see potential in the nearby McKinley Park neighborhood.
7. CTA Train Tunnel
Location: Near South Side
Film credit: Chicago PD, Chicago Fire
8. 4th Presbyterian Church
Location: 126 E Chestnut St
Film credit: My Best Friend's Wedding
Development news: 4th Presbyterian Church has been a part of Chicago's tony Gold Coast community since it was built in 1914. It was designed by Ralph Adams Cram, the nation's leading Gothic-Revival architects of the time. The Gratz Center, an 80k SF addition to the church designed by the firm Gensler, was dedicated in 2012.