Where is American Rust Filmed? Is Buell a Real Town?

Showtime’s ‘American Rust’ is a crime drama series that centers around a middling town and the dilemma its Chief of Police finds himself in when the son of the woman he loves is accused of murder. The show follows a slow burn melancholy narrative that paints a picture of a town that is past its heyday, much like its largely working-class residents. The story seems to be made up as much by the central case as the town itself, and the show makers have gone to great lengths to create an immersive setting for the story to unfold. So, are you curious about where ‘American Rust’ is filmed? We’ve got you covered.

American Rust Filming Locations

‘American Rust’ is entirely filmed in Pennsylvania, where multiple towns are used to piece together the show’s fictional backdrop. The series is set in a Pennsylvania town in the Rust Belt, a region that consists of largely northeastern and midwestern industrial towns that are now in decline. Filming for the show was scheduled to begin in March 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the plan came to a halt before the principal photography could even begin. Production eventually started in the middle of March 2021 and was wrapped up by early August 2021. Now let’s take a look at the specific filming locations used to bring the show to life.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

‘American Rust’ is set in the fictional town of Buell in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The production uses multiple locations in and around the city of Pittsburgh to stand in for this fictional town. 31st Street Studios, located at 77 31st Street, serves as the base of the production. The filming studio has at least eight soundstages and offers additional space for production offices, catering, and the art department.

The crew uses the Carrie Blast Furnaces, a National Historic Landmark and former home to the Homestead Steel Works, to film many of its scenes. The now-defunct steel plant is located at 801 Carrie Furnace Boulevard, in the industrial town of Swissvale in the Pittsburgh area. A backlot in Churchill Crossings is used to construct exterior sets regularly used for filming. The studio is located at 1310 Beulah Road, in a suburb of Pittsburgh. The exteriors of a trailer and a cabin, both depicting homes of central characters (Grace and Del), are built on the lot. The State Correctional Institution – Pittsburgh, located at 3001 Beaver Avenue, is also used to film a few scenes, as is Pitcairn Road.

Other Locations in Allegheny County

The borough of Monroeville, located about 14 miles from Pittsburgh, is extensively used in the production. Additionally, Tilbrook and Stroschein Roads were seemingly shut down during the filming of season 1. A bar under a bridge in the borough of Rankin is also reportedly used to shoot a few scenes, as is a Victorian home in the city of McKeesport. Other Allegheny County locations used in the production include Clairton, Oakdale, Allison Park, Glassport, Sewickley, Penn Hills, and Braddock.

Other Locations in Pennsylvania

The show is basically set in the larger Monongahela Valley region, which encompasses parts of Pennsylvania and neighboring West Virginia. The area was once known for its highly successful steel industry. To depict the region authentically, the filming crew shoots sequences in various towns and neighborhoods in Pennsylvania, including Ambridge, a borough in Beaver County; Portersville and Harmony in Butler County; Donora, a borough in Washington County; Apollo, a borough in Armstrong County; and Perryopolis and Belle Vernon in Fayette County.

The production also uses the State Correctional Institution – Greensburg, located in Hempfield Township, and the city of Monessen (around Third Street and Donner Avenue) in Westmoreland County for occasional filming.

Lensing also takes place in the city of New Castle and the McConnells Mill State Park in Lawrence County. Many recognizable spots from these locations are used as backdrops, which are eventually stitched together to give the show’s fictional town of Buell its distinctly Pennsylvania aesthetic. Much of the area’s natural landscape is used by the production to make the presentation convincing.

Read More: Is American Rust Based on a True Story?