The Original-Universal Beaver House vs The Modern

Beaver TV show fans, the original home is still standing but it’s hidden away, deep in the bowels of the historic Universal backlot. Trams no longer drive past the original one, it’s the closest set to the 101 Hollywood freeway.

The original house has journeyed around this studio lot at three separate locations in its long but not always star-studded history.

It’s a storage shed now on the inside and the fact it’s stuck so far back in this backlot has actually saved its existence. When it becomes in the way of something the studio decides to do going forward, it will be demolished. The old place does not have any more moves left, it sits like an old car on blocks, a shell of its historic self.

The new Leave it to Beaver house was built on the footprint of the original, let’s go over and see the replacement Beaver House built specifically for the feature film Leave it to Beaver.

Original location by what is now- Amblin Entertainment…
Sad yet, it’s still here. Its third address, as it climbs higher and farther away on this studio property. Someday it may vanish into Heaven. Most likely its next stop.
The picture is crooked, but so is the house!
Kids on movie sets get a school room trailer with a teacher- since filming interferes with school. I would have attended class more often had I had a school room parked on the backlot.
Storage and raccoon housing…
Beethoven’s dog house is now the closest neighbor…
Upstairs view of open front door… 4 feet of wood flooring greets you as you enter, then, you may fall into a ditch. That entrance- once inside- is dirt.
The upstairs that used to look out on its neighbors house-which would be 1313 Mockingbird Lane and that wacky Munster Family who own that fine looking motor coach...
The complete upstairs…

The tram tour is factual sometimes and yes, when you drive down Colonial Street you will see a really clean, modern replacement. Guides often do not differentiate between the past and present and you may exit your tour thinking you saw Jerry Mathers’ and Tony Dow’s house. But, you didn’t.

What you saw is this replacement-

The imposter…
The current Beaver House on Colonial Street
The Beaver walkway, the Munsters house down the street is the original with alterations done to film inside. Desperate Housewives continued the trend of what was done at the Beaver House, all these houses had interiors built inside for realism, shots out windows can take place inside as actors sit on furniture. Less- costly company moves back and forth from stages to Wisteria Lane
I was at the meeting where producer Robert Simonds made the decision the original Beaver House was too small inside for his vision of how this movie will be made. This film started what would become the new norm on this street. All houses would be filmable inside and out, and remain locked when not in use.
Let’s go inside…
Furniture existed inside each home during Desperate Housewives’ 8 year run.

Behind this house was where the craft service truck owned and operated by Brandon would park for the entirety of Desperate Housewives, it was an oasis of riches. Brandon is best crafty in the industry and a genuine cool person. No one went hungry on this set between Brandon and Marco’s catering. No eating in this house was the rule…
A much nicer stairway takes you to a second level that has carpeting…
Leave it to Beaver lasted 6 years on the air, both on CBS, then ABC. 234 episodes were shot in those seven years…Desperate Housewives filmed 180 episodes in eight seasons. Contracts reduced the amount of episodes a season would last, that’s why our favorite old TV shows have so many episodes. Nowadays, streaming a season is about 10 episodes.
My-how times have changed…


Now you know more than maybe you wanted to…

Written and lived by Donnie Norden…

1 thought on “The Original-Universal Beaver House vs The Modern”

  1. “during the height of it’s glory…”,
    unless you can literally time travel, this is not possible.

    Gordon

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