New York: 10 fire stations and NYPD from your favorite movies, series, musics, comics and novels

The police men and women of the NYPD have always inspired movie screenwriters. As for the fire fighters, they are true American heroes. Go along with the sound of the sirens for some special encounters.


On Third Watch, the very beautiful firehouse where Jimmy Doherty (Eddie Cibrian) works was built by Bradford Lee Gilbert, architect for several New York buildings including the first skyscraper, the Tower Building, destroyed in 1913. This station, open in 1904, reflects the Dutch origins of New York with its stepped gables in proto-baroque style. It is still a functioning firehouse.

This fire house is the oldest in Long Island. At first based in an old wagon, since 1904 it has occupied this building built by Bradford Lee Gilbert, also architect of the first skyscraper in NY, the Tower Building (1889-1914). Listed as a New York Historic Site since 2006.


A fire house still running, the emblematic Ghostbusters headquarters continues to attract a lot of people.  This fire house was one of the first to intervene after the terrorist attacks of September 9th, 2001.  It almost closed in 2011 due to budgetary restrictions, but the mobilization of the neighboring residents, very attached to this building dating from 1895, insured its continuation.  On site, the links with Ghostbuster still exist: first of all on the sidewalk where a huge emblem has been painted, making the link between the Ghostbusters logo and the fire fighters, while further along inside, in full view, there’s a Ghostbusters 2 poster!  We can also see several objects found in the rubble of the World Trade Center. The firemen are very friendly and will willingly take a break to chat with tourists coming here. But don’t expect to find the Ghostbusters headquarters intact, the interior scenes were filmed in an abandoned fire station in Los Angeles!


On Cagney & Lacey, the 15th precinct where the two women from the NYPD work, is fictional. To show it, the producers chose to film the façade of the 9th precinct used in many movies and series. While the New York City Courthouse also appears, the other takes were done in a Los Angeles studio.

On Castle, Castle perpetuates the tradition of many police series by using the façade of the 9th precinct as the setting. It’s here that the pragmatic Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) works every day, first as lieutenant, then as captain. She clarifies numerous cases alongside the rather unconventional, successful writer Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) forced on her by the mayor as a consultant.

On NYPD Blue, the police station of the 15th precinct where the series takes place is fictional. Its jurisdiction goes from Chinatown to Little Italy via East Village. Like in a lot of other police series, the facade filmed is that of the 9th precinct and we generally see the New York County Courthouse (60 Center St) for all the scenes with a judicial decor.

Nicknamed “The Fighting Ninth” this police station will probably look familiar as it has been filmed in many series. So many that when the 1912 building was destroyed in 2002, they decided to keep the façade. It was actually taken down stone by stone during the construction and rebuilt for the opening on May 18th, 2007.


On Brooklyn Nine-Nine, only the façade of this real Brooklyn police station is visible in the series awarded a Golden Globe in 2014. The interior scenes of this wacky police headquarters were filmed in a Los Angeles studio.

Located just beside Barclay’s Center, this building is once again popular thanks to the series Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In reality, this section of the NYPD is number 78, corresponding to the precinct it covers. This sector includes the Park Slope and Prospect Park areas.


On The Naked City, the young investigator, Jimmy Halloran (Don Taylor) joins up with the experienced lieutenant Dan Muldoon (Barry Fitzgerald) in this police station. Even if it’s common that this type of building be filmed, the producers only use images of the façade, the rest being shot in a studio. But Jules Dassin, at the time, could have set up his cameras inside. 

With an area stretching from 14th to 43rdSt, in west Manhattan, the 10thprecinct covers an immense sector and is one of the rare boroughs where crime has increased over the past fifteen years. Relatively speaking though as Hudson Yards is really developing and the number of offences remains low compared to the rest of the city (1032 in 2016 with no murders).


On The anniversary Man, Adjacent to the Engine 15 Ladder 18 fire house, this police station is in charge of the second smallest precinct in the city (0.62 square miles), just at the base of Williamsburg Bridge on the Manhattan side.

Whereas the 10thprecinct is in charge of one of the largest districts of Manhattan, the 7thprecinct oversees the second smallest of the city with only 0.62 square miles. What’s more, crime is decreasing steadily: -7.8 % between 2000 and 2016.


Fairytale of New York – the title is borrowed from a short story by J.P. Donleavy – is incontestably the trashiest Christmas song.  In this unraveled tale, a couple, who met on Christmas Eve, have an argument and insults fly – “You’re an old slut on junk”, “You scumbag, you maggot”.  The clip, shot during Thanksgiving week in New York, shows Matt Dillon arresting Shane MacGowan, the toothless Pogues singer, and putting him in the drunk tank at this police station.

The Tenderloin, in Midtown (more or less the Chelsea area today) was nicknamed “Satan’s Circus” at the end of the 19thcentury. The commissioner at the time thought this rather “hot” neighbourhood where brothels were numerous really needed a police station to establish authority. The front of the building, which was finished in 1908, looks like a veritable medieval fortress!


On Law & order, the first part of each episode takes place in this police department, setting for the investigation and then the arrest of suspects. The second part of the episode shows the proceedings in the New York State Supreme Court (60 Center St).

In 1973, the police of New York left their splendid Art Deco head office at 240 Centre St, which it had occupied since 1909, to move into new headquarters. Quite the aesthetic shock as the new building designed by Gruzen & Partners is of Brutalist style architecture. Inspired by the Boston City Hall, it represents a thirteen floor upside down pyramid. The security perimeter also upset neighbourhood habits. The main artery linking Chinatown to the Financial District, Park Row was closed to traffic in 2001 in order to prevent any attack from a truck with explosives.


On Hell's Wind Staff / Killah Hills 10304, the policemen of the 120th precinct used to keep close tabs on the members of Wu-Tang Clan and even supplied information about them to the FBI.  This did deserve a minor dedication by RZA. The song also mentions the Sparks Steak House, in Manhattan, outside of which the mafia guy Paul Castellano was murdered.

The NYPD 120thprecinct covers the north of Staten Island, a sector that includes the Park Hill Apartments and the Stapleton Houses where most of the Wu-Tang Clan members come from. Even if the area hasn’t suddenly become a haven of peace, the homicide rate has declined by 81% since 1993.


Including Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, the Empire State Building, the New York Public Library, Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, the district of this police station is one of the most frequented of the city. The work of the NYPD is paying off because crime has gone down by 54% since 2001.

Follow us !

Share this page on