LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - For a guy who works at
an electronics store, geek-turned-spy Chuck Bartowski on NBC's
"Chuck" sure lives in high style -- in the famous El Cabrillo
apartment building in Hollywood.
When making the pilot, the producers set out to find a
courtyard apartment location that was reminiscent of old
Hollywood/Echo Park. They researched and scouted several
courtyard and bungalow apartments from the 1920s before
deciding on the El Cabrillo.
The building, designed and built in 1928 by celebrated
early-20th century architects Arthur and Nina Zwebell, is
steeped in old Hollywood lore, and it's alleged that a Rudolph
Valentino movie used the Spanish revival courtyard building as
a set. For decades, the building was an apartment complex but
recently was restored and converted into condos.
The makers of "Chuck" liked the El Cabrillo because it
"offered many interesting textures -- concrete blocks, wood
spindle balconies, private balconies, an impressive interior
courtyard turret and a courtyard fountain," according to
location manger Kelly Harris, "and provided an amazing
background for our characters to interact."
When shooting the "Chuck" pilot at the El Cabrillo, the
production's biggest concern was the neighbors in the
high-density Hollywood area. To minimize the overall impact,
the production parked the majority of its trucks in local lots
and brought in only essential equipment.
Alas, Chuck does not live at El Cabrillo anymore. Not
In the pilot, Chuck's apartment was comprised of several
units at the El Cabrillo, and it was unfeasible to continue
shooting at the complex for the series. Thus, the apartment and
the building's courtyard were re-created on a Warner Bros.