Is The Hook & Ladder 8 Station Real? The 'Ghostbusters' Headquarters Still Stands
For movie nerds, the best sightseeing spots in New York City aren't the ones on the postcards. The Empire State Building is just a skyscraper, and Times Square is just an anxiety-inducing pile of flashing signs, slow-moving tourists, and off-brand costumed mascots. Visitors to New York can step right onto the scenes of some of their favorite movies, like Hook & Ladder 8, the Ghostbusters fire station. Yes, it's real, it's still there, and luckily, it doesn't contain any ghosts (to my knowledge). The firehouse, still in operation today, is at the corner of North Moore and Varick Streets in the Tribeca neighborhood. According to Atlas Obscura, it was built in 1903, and was originally twice the size, but was cut in half due to a street expansion in 1913.
In earlier drafts of the movie, the Ghostbusters weren't exterminators for hire, but a municipal service like police or firefighters, so the location for the Ghostbusters' headquarters was chosen to reflect that. Nowadays, the living piece of film history houses a fire engine rather than Ecto-1, and although it lacks the movie's EPA-irking Containment Unit, there are still some signs that the movie was shot there, if fans know where to look.
On the sidewalk just to the right of the door, the firehouse pays tribute to its movie roots with an emblem featuring a firefighting ghost. DNA Info reported that Hook & Ladder 8's signature patch was also updated last year to feature the ghost logo. This is a working fire station, so it's important to stay out of the way when the firefighters are trying to do their jobs, but those who happen to visit when they're out on a call (as I was lucky enough to do three years ago) can peek through the window to see the sign that hung out front during Ghostbusters 2 mounted to the east wall, above the lockers.
Unfortunately, those looking to make a pilgrimage to the iconic building will need to wait until after the reboot's out on Blu-ray; the Associated Press reported that the building is currently undergoing a $6 million renovation, due to be completed some time next year. A representative for New York City's Department of Design and Construction said that all historic elements of the firehouse will be kept intact. Those who were planning to visit the city sooner can still visit the Statue of Liberty, aka the hero of Ghostbusters 2.