‘Carol’ is based on the semi-autobiographical romantic novel, ‘The Price of Salt’ by Patricia Highsmith. Directed by Todd Haynes and written by Phyllis Nagy, this film follows a forbidden affair between a woman going through a divorce, Carol Aird, and a young aspiring female photographer, Therese Belivet. In the 1950s, at a time when homosexuality was looked down upon, sustaining a relationship was difficult as it is. An extramarital affair being a scandal in itself gets more painful when one’s children are involved.
Therefore, Carol makes decisions that affect her family. The romantic drama received worldwide appreciation for its direction and the performances, especially that of Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. The film was nominated for many awards, including five Golden Globe Awards, six Academy Awards, and nine BAFTA Awards. In case you’re a fan of the film’s visual imagery and are looking for the filming locations, you are at the right place!
Carol Filming Locations
‘Carol’ has been in development since 1997 when Nagy wrote the first draft of the screenplay, but the project kept falling through for various reasons, including scheduling issues and financing. The story is set in 1950’s New York and New Jersey. Apart from Edward Lachman’s magic as the cinematographer, it was important to find locations that would suit the description of that time period. The filming was carried out in 34 days. If you are wondering where they filmed ‘Carol’ to recreate the 50’s New York, here are the details!
The main location for the filming of ‘Carol’ was in different parts of Cincinnati. Over-the-Rhine, also known as OTR, is believed to be one of the most intact urban historic districts in the U.S., served as the Manhattan of the 50s in ‘Carol.’ The vacant Second District Police Headquarters on 314 Broadway Street, doubled up a temporary soundstage with several rooms reworked to suit the needs of the film.
Therese works at the Frankenberg’s Toy Department, in Manhattan where she first sets eyes on Carol. This is filmed at the empty Mill End Draperies Upholstery on 26th West Seventh Street, which used to be the Oskamp Nolting Department Store. The exteriors of the store are filmed at the old Shillito’s Department Store (which is now The Loft) at the 7th Street between Elm and Race Streets. Carol leaves her gloves at the counter of the store, and that is how Therese gets in touch with her, to return her gloves.
Therese reveals to her fiancé, Richard (Jake Lacy), that she is an aspiring photographer at a bar, which is Arnold’s Bar, on 210 East 8th Street at Main Street. This is also the place where she gets invited to the New York Times Office by Dannie (John Magaro), their mutual friend. Therese’s apartment in the film is at 24 West Court Street on Race Street, which is actually above Doscher’s Candies.
Carol invites Therese to her home in Ridgewood, New Jersey, which was the Barrett Estate, 2581 Grandin Road in Hyde Park. It is a 9,400 square foot mansion, built in 1905. This was perfect for the period that the film is set in, but it was later put up for sale by the owners. The Lincoln Tunnel that connects New York City and New Jersey in the film is actually Lytle Tunnel in Cincinnati, and since it is not that long, the drive through the tunnel had to be repeated many times.
The iconic scene when Carol stops to buy a Christmas tree and Therese takes candid photographs of her was shot at Eden Park, Lake Drive. Towards the end of the film, Richard returns the box of photographs at the supposed Central Park, which was again filmed at Eden Park.
Some of the other filming locations were the Netherland Hotel, which we see in the film as the Drake Hotel. Wilkymacky Street, a busy street corner in Manhattan in the film, with Packards and men in fedoras; this is on 12th & Walnut, Cincinnati. The film ends at the Cincinnati Club, which doubles for the Ritz Tower Hotel, as well as the supposed Oak Room at Plaza Hotel, New York, which doesn’t exist anymore.
On their way back from Chicago, Carol and Therese celebrate New Year at a motel in Waterloo, Iowa, where they get spied on. This was actually filmed at the Shaker inn, 600 Cincinnati Avenue, Lebanon, in Ohio, for the interiors and exteriors. But the lovemaking scene was filmed at a private set created by the production team.
Carol invites Therese for lunch after Therese returns her gloves. Therese is clearly enamored by Carol at their lunch date, which was filmed at Maury’s Tiny Cove, Cheviot.
When things are going downhill, Carol invites Therese on a road trip to Chicago; they stop by at the Liberty Bell Diner, where Therese gives Carol a Christmas present. It is actually the Kostas Restaurant, 221 Court Street.
The awkward dinner that Carol has with her husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) and his parents when she cashes in on the opportunity to meet her daughter was filmed at Edward R. Stearns House, 333 Oliver Road. Wyoming was home to many wealthy industrialists, and this particular house was built for the textile baron, Edward Stearns.
On their way back from Chicago, when Carol realizes that they are being watched, she asks her former lover, Abby (Sarah Paulson), to drive Therese back to New York. Therese and Abby meet at a diner, which used to be the Spare Time Grill, 7807 Alexandria Pike, Alexandria, in Kentucky
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