The 1994 American horror film, Wolf, starring Jack Nicholson, features some familiar locations, including the Bradbury Building at Third Street in downtown Los Angeles. However, it wasn’t the first time this old commercial building was featured in a movie.
The truth is, Bradbury Building is a certified architectural movie star in L.A. that has been used in numerous shows and movies over the decades. It includes some legendary classics, such as Blade Runner (1982), Double Indemnity (1944), and D.O.A. (1950). It evokes a mysterious and almost creepy vibe, perfect for thrillers and horror movie genres.
Another notable Wolf filming location you can visit today is the Old Westbury Gardens at 71 Old Westbury Road on Long Island. It was the former estate of John Shaffer Phipps until it was converted in 1959 into a museum. It’s a beloved Long Island attraction that welcomes visitors every day, except Tuesday, from 10 AM to 6 PM.
There were some more discreet locations in the movie, but the majority of the Wolf production took place throughout California and New York. It also features East 14th Street and Broadway, Manhattan, as well as a hotel on Central Park West that no longer exists today.
Will was actually a lawyer in the original script. But his character’s occupation was changed because they’re going for a fresher approach.
The office scene in Wolf
Bradbury Building, Los Angeles, CA
Since Wolf revolves around the chief editor, Will, viewers often get to see the publishing company where he works. At the beginning of the film, we see Will on his way to his office inside an open cage elevator. Then in one scene, where he realizes he has sharper-than-human sensory perceptions, Will walks out of his office and looks around the publishing company building.
This time, viewers get a clearer view of the building’s interior, featuring ornate iron railings, marble stairs, and cage elevators. If you think the publishing house’s interior looks familiar, that’s because it’s the famous Bradbury Building in central Los Angeles.
It doesn’t seem special if you look from the outside. But inside the oldest commercial building in downtown L.A. lies a unique treasure that remains spectacular even after over a century since it first opened. It features a magical Victorian court rising over fifty feet, a stunning skylit atrium, and delicate ironwork.
The Bradbury Building was built in 1893 and has become one of the city’s most historic landmarks and architectural masterpieces. Its exterior is modest, with arched windows, carved sandstone, and a decorative cornice. But its interior is where it truly shines. It is on the National Register of Historic Places list and one of the few L.A. office buildings to be a National Historic Landmark.
If you’re in downtown L.A., make sure to stop by the Bradbury Building. Thanks to its central location, it’s easily accessible by bus, subway, or train, including Metrolink San Bernando Line and B line (Red). But we recommend visiting on a walking tour so that you can explore other magnificent attractions.
Raymond Alden’s party scene in Wolf
Old Westbury Gardens, Old Westbury, New York
Raymond Alden (Christopher Plummer) is the new billionaire owner of the publishing company, and he invites everyone to the party at his manor. “I want you to think about Europe,” he begins as he and Will discuss a job he wants Will to consider while they stroll away from the crowd. “Then my area will no longer be editor-in-chief after the takeover?” Will clarifies, though he already knows the answer.
Pay close attention to this scene and notice the huge mansion in the backdrop. The Old Westbury Gardens provided an idyllic setting for the sequence, featured as the billionaire character’s elegant manor in the film. It’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, nestled in the middle of 200 acres of breathtaking gardens, woodlands, landscaped grounds, lakes, and ponds.
Today, visitors are welcome at the Old Westbury Gardens, offering guided tours of the magnificent Westbury House and formal gardens. It’s a serene Wolf filming location where you can be close to nature and appreciate spectacular architecture. It’s open for family programs, concerts, children’s programs, school visits, and other activities and events.
The easiest way to get to Old Westbury Gardens is by car. But if you want to take public transit, you still have to take a taxi to Old Westbury Gardens after getting off Westbury Station.
The hotel scene in Wolf
The Mayflower Hotel, New York City, New York
After discovering his wife’s infidelity, Will can no longer live with his wife. So he leaves Charlotte and stays at the Mayflower Hotel. The hotel featured in the film was not a set stage but a real Mayflower Hotel located on the side of Manhattan at 15 Central Park West and 61st Street.
The Mayflower Hotel had a distinctive European charm, providing quiet and comfortable accommodation at the peak of its time. It used to be an upscale hotel, but its architectural flair was replaced with ugly patchwork in 1982.
It became a background building along Central Park West for many years, offering a calming presence among the nearby busy apartments and towering buildings. Then Mayflower Hotel was demolished in 2004, finally disappearing from the New York scene.
It’s been nearly two decades since the hotel was demolished, but its easy-to-miss trace remains. Attached to a bench is a tiny plaque reminding everyone that there was once a building standing on the site called The Mayflower Hotel.
Finding the right location is one of the key components of effective and productive filming. It becomes another character in the story, so careful thought and planning should be considered when choosing a film site. It is especially important for horror or thriller movies because you need a place that will build terror, disturb, and unsettle viewers.
While none of the filming locations of Wolf included in this guide is incredibly terrifying, their old, isolated features can set the mood and even create a good scare. Plus, there’s something about large, ancient buildings, mansions, and old hotels that bring to life tales of terror.
Several scenes in the movie were also filmed in the middle of the forest or by the lake, and such settings can easily build tension and evoke fear. But if you want to visit any of the Wolf filming locations, fear not! Your trip will undoubtedly be filled with fun adventures.