Let’s be honest here, reliving the magical experience of the wizarding world through the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” film is not enough. We secretly (and greedily) want to visit the places in New York where Newt Scamander set foot on too.
Set in 1926 New York, the spin-off film follows Scamander, a Magizoologist, and his American friends – Tina and Queenie Goldstein as well as Jacob Kowalski (a No-Maj) – as they try to find his missing creatures that have broken out of his suitcase.
For the first time ever, fans of the “Harry Potter” franchise are introduced to the American wizarding community and MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America). In old New York style, of course.
Co-produced by David Heyman, here are 8 real-life landmarks in New York that inspired the set of “Fantastic Beasts”:
1. New York County National Bank
In an early scene of the film, Mary Lou Barebone, the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society (aka the Second Salemers), can be seen campaigning against witchcraft in front of the fictional Steen National Bank, which was inspired by the New York County National Bank. The building was originally built in 1907 and it is now a luxury home on the West Side of Manhattan.
2. The Woolworth Building
Ah, the Woolworth Building, home to MACUSA. According to Pottermore, the American ministry of magic moved into the building once it was completed, with an owl over the entrance serving as the only indicator of its magical secrets. It’s also worth a mention that the iconic skyscraper, which was designed by Cass Gilbert, is the tallest building when Scamander visited the city.
3. 124 Old Rabbit Club
While The Leaky Cauldron is the go-to bar in London, The Blind Pig is a hidden jazzy speakeasy located along one of the alleys in the Big Apple. Inspired by the 124 Old Rabbit Club, the magical pub is staffed by a group of goblins and house elves.
4. The Writers House
Located at 21 West 26th Street, the Writer’s House is currently the headquarters of a literary company. The building was built by the Astor family and it is known for its “jewel-like Victorian facade of red brick, polished granite, and ornamental terracotta”. In the film, the design of the Goldstein sisters’ apartment was inspired by the 19th-century townhouse.
5. Old City Hall subway station
Old City Hall subway station is the city’s first subway station which was closed in 1945. Many of the film’s final scenes were mainly shot here, for example the magical battle between Percival Graves and Scamander. No, we’re not spoiling anything for you as the said scene was already featured in the trailer :)
6. Lower East Side Tenement Museum
The Tenement Museum is a historical landmark that served as an apartment building from 1863 to 1934. It also serves as first-hand inspiration for many of the movie’s homes and apartments, including Jacob Kowalski’s residence.
7. Central Park
New York’s Central Park is one of the most-filmed locations in the world and in “Fantastic Beasts”, the pond turned to a big ice rink as the events happened during winter. The Central Park Zoo was also featured in the movie.
8. Times Square
Last but not least, Times Square. The famous landmark is an essential stop for all tourists, even for Scamander. Stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets, Times Square was formerly known as Longacre Square.
Just in case you didn’t know, Warner Bros. has teamed up with Google for a new Maps feature that allows fans to explore “Fantastic Beasts” locations. To do so, simply type in “Fantastic Beasts” in Google Maps’ search and ta-dah! You’re in 1926 New York ;)
For more “Fantastic Beast” inspired Google magic, hit up the app’s webpage.
Sources: NY Curbed, NY and Company, Elsewhere AU.
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