Hollywood South wasn't always so bustling with movies and television shows. Long before film crews were interrupting your lunch break to shoot ya mom and dem on Treme, filming was spotty at best. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button changed all that. Though the F Scott Fitzgerald short story called for Baltimore as its setting, it's nearly impossible to imagine anywhere but New Orleans as the backdrop. The city's major role as a supporting character throughout the film showed the world that we can still shine after the storm — and boy have we ever. After the jump, we take you through eight pivotal Benjamin Button locations in chronological order. No reverse aging here.Read More
From the Diary of Benjamin Button: Mapping Iconic Scenes
Though the Orleans Criminal District Court sure does see a lot of foot traffic, its real life identity is a far cry from the hustling, bustling train station that is introduced at the start of the movie. Near death, Daisy first introduces Benjamin and the train station with a fragmented memory of its opening.
The Northshore's diversity of landscape shone as a whole throughout Benjamin Button. This second location shows what movie magic is capable of — crews diligently recreated a cemetery setting near Carroll St and Lakeshore Dr. Though gravestones were constructed out of disposable materials like styrofoam, residents were reportedly nearly fooled by their accuracy.
It took quite a bit of courting for Ruth Bodenheimer to agree to let crews film at the Lanaux Mansion. The bed and breakfast functioned as the home of Benjamin Button's estranged father, Thomas. Designed by Dixie Brewery architect William Fitzner, it was built in 1879, making it all the more accurate for a film that begins in the 1910s.
The undisputed star property of the movie, the Nolan House took courting a property owner to the next level. Though the Lanaux House was also a bit of a negotiation, director David Fincher was so set on using the Nolan House for filming that he flew all the way to Houston to have tea with owner Mary Nell Porter Nolan, who had evacuated there after the storm. A mainstay in the Nolan family for generations, the home went on the market just a few years ago and sold for nearly $1.5M.
City Park stars in many pivotal scenes of the movie, including a romantic interlude between Daisy and Benjamin. Both the peristyle and gazebo seen onscreen are popular wedding spots, making the silhouetted love scene all the sweeter.
Fontainebleau State Park functions as the backdrop of a pivotal Benjamin Button scene in which English love interest Elizabeth Abbott attempts to swim the English Channel. Abbott's failure marks her character, though the scene proves once again just how varied and diverse the Northshore is.
Everyone's favorite quirky Bourbon diner, Clover Grill quelled its sassy side for filming and instead presented itself as a mom and pop restaurant where Benjamin glimpses Elizabeth Abbott's victorious swim across the English Channel at age 68 as he dines with Daisy. The original building at 900 Bourbon St was a Creole Cottage built in 1825 and Clover Grill has been serving up round-the-clock meals since 1939.
Industrial Supply behemoth Dixie Mill proved a fitting setting for Button's Buttons. The factory unifies Thomas with Benjamin as he finally admits that he's Benjamin's father. Button's Buttons has been in the family for numerous decades, much like the real Dixie Mill. Established in 1917, Dixie Mill has been in the Cahn family ever since.