The House of Cards Tour of Baltimore

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<em>Political maneuverer Frank Underwood may rule Washington, D.C. in House of Cards, but the megahit drama is actually shot, for the most part, in Baltimore. As hordes of Netflix customers race to finish up the online series’ recently released second season, we spoke with HOC’s award-winning production designer Steve Arnold about the show’s real (and not-so-real) locations. The bad news? You cannot eat a plate of ribs at Freddy’s. But you can follow Frank’s footsteps all over Charm City.</em>Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro Station<em>Washington, D.C.</em>House of Cards' Francis Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) likes to do a lot of his bidding amidst the noise and chaos of D.C.'s Metro stations. In one of his earliest meetings with reporter Zoe Barnes (played by Kate Mara) in season one, the two can be seen telling secrets at the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro Station, located in the city's Penn Quarter neighborhood, near the  and . The ceiling is a telltale sign that this is an actual D.C. train station. "About 90 percent of the stations in D.C. all have that great vaulted concrete tunnel ceiling look, which is great," says Arnold.More From :

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Political maneuverer Frank Underwood may rule Washington, D.C. in House of Cards, but the megahit drama is actually shot, for the most part, in Baltimore. As hordes of Netflix customers race to finish up the online series’ recently released second season, we spoke with HOC’s award-winning production designer Steve Arnold about the show’s real (and not-so-real) locations. The bad news? You cannot eat a plate of ribs at Freddy’s. But you can follow Frank’s footsteps all over Charm City.Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro StationWashington, D.C.House of Cards' Francis Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) likes to do a lot of his bidding amidst the noise and chaos of D.C.'s Metro stations. In one of his earliest meetings with reporter Zoe Barnes (played by Kate Mara) in season one, the two can be seen telling secrets at the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro Station, located in the city's Penn Quarter neighborhood, near the  and . The ceiling is a telltale sign that this is an actual D.C. train station. "About 90 percent of the stations in D.C. all have that great vaulted concrete tunnel ceiling look, which is great," says Arnold.More From : Close

<em>Political maneuverer Frank Underwood may rule Washington, D.C. in House of Cards, but the megahit drama is... Read More

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Baltimore, MDWe won't reveal exactly what goes down at the Cathedral Heights Metro station in the season two opener, but we will tell you that the train station doesn’t exist. Season two’s big OMG moment was shot in Baltimore’s Charles Center Metro Station. "We did some things to make it a little more D.C.-ish," Arnold admits, though he notes that "if anyone's really knowledgeable, they will know right away that it’s not D.C.” In order to accommodate the production, "we were shooting in the middle of the night, because they basically shut the trains down so that we had control of the space," says Arnold.More From : Close

<em>Baltimore, MD</em>We won't reveal exactly what goes down at the Cathedral Heights Metro station in the season two... Read More

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Those looking to snap a very vice-presidential pic in front of the Underwood residence are only half in luck. Though the townhouse is located on a real street—a family home at , in the city's Bolton Hill neighborhood—many of the show’s exterior shots, and all of its interiors, are actually filmed on a re-created set on the House of Cards soundstage. "Because both of these characters are kind of nefarious, we wanted it to have very sharp edges and clean lines," says Arnold of the interior design. "If there was a table leg, for example, we wanted it to be tapered to a point so that it was kind of sharp, almost like teeth, as these are sort of shark-like people. But it's done in a very subtle way."More From : Close

Those looking to snap a very vice-presidential pic in front of the Underwood residence are only half in luck. Though... Read More

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Baltimore, MDMaybe it's all for show, but the Underwoods have made two appearances at this Presbyterian church, once in each season. The most striking feature is its 11 Tiffany stained glass windows, which were added in the early 1900s. "This church happened to be two blocks away [from the Underwood townhouse]," says Arnold. "It also was a great interior—with the stained glass windows—and the church was open to us using it, which isn’t always the case."More From : Close

<em>Baltimore, MD</em>Maybe it's all for show, but the Underwoods have made two appearances at this Presbyterian... Read More

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Baltimore, MDFrank gives Zoe a lesson in subterfuge and masterworks at the Baltimore Museum of Art. "The section that we shot in is not a place where they display any art, so we were able to go in there in the daytime," says Arnold. "There were a few sculptural pieces that were around that we were able to clear for copyright, so it worked out well." The image that Frank chose as the backdrop for their meeting—Thomas Eakins’ 1872 oil painting, The Biglin Brothers Racing—actually resides in D.C.’s .More From : Close

<em>Baltimore, MD</em>Frank gives Zoe a lesson in subterfuge <em>and </em>masterworks at the Baltimore Museum of Art.... Read More

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Baltimore, MDThe Underwoods showed that they'd never let a minor detail like permission get in the way of a good party. When their political maneuvering got them shut out of the ballroom at the fictional Hotel Cotesworth, they did the next best thing and hosted the soirée on the entrance steps. The location in question is part of Johns Hopkins University. "It was originally written for a parking lot, but it was very difficult to shoot at night," recalls Arnold. "The Peabody Institute had an exterior place that was nestled between a couple of buildings and there were a few different levels with stairways, which made the choreography of the party scene much easier to stage and visually more interesting than just a big flat space."More From : Close

<em>Baltimore, MD</em>The Underwoods showed that they'd never let a minor detail like permission get in the way of a... Read More

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Baltimore, MDFrank’s introduction to Zoe (at least the back of her) comes during a night out at the Lyric Opera House, which is written as the fictional Washington Opera House. "It was picked because everything worked really well for us," says Arnold. "The interior, the exterior, and the lobby. It was a nice, open, modern space. It doesn't really match anything in D.C. but it has a feel that it could be there."More From : Close

<em>Baltimore, MD</em>Frank’s introduction to Zoe (at least the back of her) comes during a night out at the Lyric... Read More

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Baltimore, MDDowntown diner Werner's has House of Cards partially to thanks for its restoration. Though the restaurant "had been closed for 10 years or so," according to Arnold, "right about the time we decided we were interested [in shooting it], somebody had control of it and decided to reopen it. Their opening day was a little bit after we needed it, so we came in and did some cleaning and restoration. And then they opened about a month after we shot there. It's a great, classic, old-school, downtown diner."More From : Close

<em>Baltimore, MD</em>Downtown diner Werner's has House of Cards partially to thanks for its restoration. Though the... Read More

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Baltimore, MD"As you probably know, the newspaper business is not in as great a shape as it once was," says Arnold. "So there are huge sections of The Baltimore Sun’s building that are empty, basically." Which made the paper’s historic Calver Street offices a perfectly appropriate setting for the fictional Washington Herald. "We built the offices for Lucas Goodwin and Tom Hammerschmidt, and we built a little lunchroom," says Arnold. "We dressed the whole thing with spaces for each person with all of their paraphernalia."More From : Close

<em>Baltimore, MD</em>"As you probably know, the newspaper business is not in as great a shape as it once was," says... Read More

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