As you walk down North Moore Street in lower Manhattan, you may find you have the sudden urge to turn to someone on the street and say “I am the keymaster,” to which they must by all rights of man and law reply “I am the gatekeeper.”
New York is filled with famous movie locations, but few are as iconic or nostalgic—at least to those who grew up in the 1980s—as the firehouse from the 1984 classic Ghostbusters. The 1903 Beaux-Arts building, home to the real-life Hook & Ladder Company 8, was used for the exterior scenes of the fictional firehouse where Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston set up their ghostbusting operations. Although the Ghostbusters logo sign might not hang from the front of the building like in the movie, it’s still plainly recognizable today as the Ghostbusters firehouse.
Besides Ghostbusters, the building’s memorable facade has also been featured in other movies and TV shows. It appeared in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot and it was used for the external shots of the firehouse where Kramer worked in an episode of Seinfeld.
The building was gutted and underwent a major renovation from 2016 to 2018 to update the living quarters, locker rooms, kitchen, and roof. The floor of the century-old building was actually in danger of collapsing from the weight of the fire vehicles stored inside. Following the restoration, the building looks relatively the same, although the red garage door is now noticeably different, with multiple panes of glass.
If the firefighters of Hook & Ladder 8, who were among the very first responders to the World Trade Center on September 11, are available to give you a tour of the inside, you can take a look at the collection of melted clocks and phones they’ve accumulated from the various fires they’ve put out. Just remember that Hook & Ladder Company 8 is a fully functional firehouse, so be respectful of their space and time, and try not to yell “Don’t cross the streams!” too loudly.
Know Before You Go
Accessible from the 1 and 2 trains at the Franklin Street Station.