The ‘Gilmore Girls’ Cast Never Filmed on the East Coast

It’s almost officially the fall. For Gilmore Girls fans, that means it’s time to start another rewatch. For some reason, the fall feels like the perfect time to reconnect with Lorelai and Rory Gilmore in their tiny Connecticut town of Stars Hollow. Maybe that’s because New England is known for its fall foliage. No matter the reason, Gilmore Girls screams autumn, but was the series filmed in Connecticut? The answer is no. Most of the series was filmed far away from the east coast and its cool autumn winds.  

Warner Bros. created most of the ‘Gilmore Girls’ world on a studio lot in Burbank, California 

Gilmore Girls might have relied on the Northeast to set the stage for the dramedy, but not a single scene of the series was actually filmed in the state of Connecticut, at least not scenes that included any of the cast members. In fact, the majority of the series was filmed clear across the country. 

Michael Winters as Taylor Doosey and Sean Gunn as Kirk Gleason discuss town business in Stars Hollow's town center
Taylor Doose and Kirk Gleason in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Netflix

The bulk of Gilmore Girls was filmed on a soundstage in Burbank, California. Stars Hollow, while influenced by a New England town, was built on a soundstage. Warner Bros. used the same setup in another series. Stars Hollow was transformed for Pretty Little Liars. For example, the building that served as Stars Hollow High School might be recognizable to Pretty Little Liars fans as Rosewood Town Hall.  

A city-owned mansion in Beverly Hills served as Chilton 

While the bulk of Gilmore Girls was filmed on a production lot, a few key elements of the series required the cast to head into the real world.. Rory’s schooling moments, for example, were sometimes filmed on location. Chilton, Rory’s prep school, was an important element of the show’s first, second, and third seasons. Scenes that showed the outside of Chilton were filmed on location in Beverly Hills. 

Rory Gilmore stands in front of a class of Chilton students in 'Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life'
Alexis Bledel as Rory Gilmore in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Netflix

Chilton, modeled after a prep school on the East Coast, utilized the Greystone Mansion in California for its exterior shots. The city of Beverly Hills currently owns the building, but it was originally built in 1927 by Edward Laurence Doheny, Jr. on a parcel of land gifted to him by his father. According to the Friends of Greystone, the mansion took three years to build and cost over $3 million in the 1920s. Collegiate moments utilized college campuses not far from the Warner Bros. lot. 

The location of Richard and Emily Gilmore’s house is a bit more complicated

Richard and Emily Gilmore, Lolelia’s parents, allegedly lived in Hartford, Connecticut. Connecticut natives often argue that the duo would have most likely lived in West Hartford instead of the city proper. While that’s likely true, the house that stood in for Richard and Emily’s spacious abode was nowhere on the East Coast. In fact, the property used in the pilot was markedly different than the home scene in every other episode of Gilmore Girls

Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore in Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Kelly Bishop as Emily Gilmore in ‘Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life’ | Saeed Adyani/Netflix

According to Scene Therapy, the house that appears in the pilot episode of Gilmore Girls is located in Toronto. The bulk of the episode was filmed there, too. Later, when the series was picked up, the production company created an exterior facade for the house. It was created on the same soundstage that housed Stars Hollow. The facade, however, was modeled after a real mansion in California. Even the gates match. 

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