My Trip to The Real Golden Girls’ House
A number of people have written into us here (okay, maybe three) asking where they can find the Golden Girls’ house in Miami. Few of these people understand that the entire show was filmed on a backlot in LA and the house was actually a model at MGM Studios in Orlando (which has since been taken off the tour). So for someone in Miami to catch a glimpse of the house, all seems somewhat lost.
But not so fast.
A MIAMI ICON IN THE MIDDLE OF BRENTWOOD
A kind commenter was nice enough to let us know that the house where Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sofia spent so many nights eating cheesecake and stargazing on the lanai actually exists. It is located at 245 N Saltair Avenue in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. Apparently it was used for the exterior shots in Season 1 before the Orlando model was built. And the owner of the property according to LA County records? Dave Barry. Not sure if it’s THE Dave Barry, but how can you possible get any more Miami than that?
THE ONLY THING I WANT TO DO IN LOS ANGELES
I was on my way to Hawaii yesterday and somehow managed a 15-hour layover in Los Angeles. And there was no way in Hell I wasn’t going to go and pay my last respects to Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty at the home that made me move to Miami. Even if it was in Brentwood. I convinced my friend Shannon, who was nice enough to humor me for the evening, to take me the short trip up the 405 to see this piece of TV history. She mocked me endlessly, but if loving the Golden Girls is wrong, well then, “right” has no taste in television.
As we drove down Sunset I saw gate after gate blocking off the streets of Brentwood. I decided that if Saltair was gated off, I would jump the fence; I hadn’t come all the way to Los Angeles to look at a stinking gate. But by the time we got to Saltair, the gates were gone, and it was a straight shot with legal street parking to the Mecca of Golden Girls Fandom. We passed some impressive houses as I watched the numbers go up in giddy anticipation. 145, 171, 201…..
I DIDN’T EVEN NEED TO LOOK AT THE ADDRESS
I felt as if the words “Produced by Paul Junger Witt and Tony Thomas” should have been plastered on Shannon’s windshield and the reprise of the theme music should be playing in the background. Maybe a car pulling into the driveway. It was unmistakable, and it was beautiful. There were no cars in the driveway, so we got out. I had purchased my first digital camera the day before for this momentous event, and despite the setting California sun I snapped as many pictures as I could. I’d been looking at this house since I was 4 years old, and here I was, standing in the driveway. Truly, a dream come true.
There was no fanfare at 245 N Saltair. No bouquets of flowers left in memory of Bea Arthur and no commemorative shirts. Just a house on a street with a light in the driveway. After about 15 minutes of picture taking I saw a figure in the front window moving around, and figured it wasn’t Sofia out for a late-night sleepwalk of one of Blanche’s dates sneaking out before his wife caught him. I went back to the car and headed back toward Sunset, with a camera full of memories from the best night I ever had in LA.
You Deserve More Than an Ordinary Vacation.
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