Above: Colonial Street as seen in 2003 (from ‘Ride the Movies’ promotional video)
The Colonial Mansion, Church and School buildings seen in the video were removed to accommodate Desperate Housewives in 2005.
One of the most popular places to shoot on the backlot, Colonial Street has a long history. The location is now more commonly known as Wisteria Lane.
Production ended on the 8-year run of Desperate Housewives in April 2012. As of May 2012, the Colonial Street area is having a makeover to get it back to a more generic neighbourhood so it can once again being appearin in a number of shows and productions with no echoes of Wisteria.
When the show was in production, the Studio Tour trams rarely accessed the street during the week as it was in constant use, so real fans had to visit on weekends or occasionally on rainy days to drive down the street.
May 2012: The street has been resurfaced, and a lot of white fencing (and wisteria) has been removed.
Attraction Video introducing Colonial Street
(NB: Animal House was NOT shot on Colonial Street, but Delta House (a short-lived TV series follow-up), was).
The Colonial Street we know now has been through a number of changes through the years. Universal is a working studio, not a museum, and many of the standing sets have changed and evolved considerably over the years.
1927 – 1950
Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1927) was shot on River Road, on the north edge of the backlot, next to the LA River. Many of the house sets on River Road were moved in 1981 to the current site of Colonial Street.
1946 – 1963
The story begins in 1946 when a few houses began construction on Stage 12 for So Goes My Love. After the movie wrapped, the sets were put into storage, until 1950, when the houses (along with other house sets built from stock units) were moved outside to the north edge of the backlot (the former site of River Road) and were christened Colonial Street, after the Colonial Mansion which was the first house on the street.
1964 – 1980
With the opening of Universal Studios Hollywood, Colonial Street (along with the Psycho house) was a key attraction. The tour guide listed the 1940s and 1950s movies in which the structures were first used.
1981 – 1987
Colonial Street was moved in 1981 to it’s present location from the northern side of the backlot. Some of the buildings that used to be part of Colonial Street were incorporated into Industrial Street, which is now known as Elm Street
The street was reconfigured for the Tom Hanks comedy The Burbs.
The street opened up to Circle Drive once more, with the additional properties from The Burbs still in place.
A newly built Beaver house reappears on Colonial Street for the 1996 Leave it to Beaver movie, replacing properties built for The ‘Burbs. The Providence house also appears in this time period.
2004 – 2012
Colonial Street changed into Wisteria Lane, following the massive success of ABC’s Desperate Housewives. As well as a much-needed repaint and refurbishment of the old sets, the Colonial Mansion has now gone, the Munsters House is much less scary and new structures have been built on Circle Drive.
2012 – present
The wisteria has been removed, and Colonial Street continues to be used for filming a wide variety of projects.
Current Properties on Colonial Street
Click on a building or photo below to find out more about each building on Colonial Street (in order looking out of the left side of the tram as it goes up and then back down the street).
Delta House / Keller House
The first house on Colonial Street on the left, this was the home of Mitzi Kinsky (formerly Ida Greenberg) on Desperate Housewives.
Known as: 4347 Wisteria Lane / Delta House / Lucas Tanner House / Keller House
Allison / Harvey Home
The second house was the home of the Dowd family in the classic 1950 movie ‘Harvey’.
It was the home of Gabrielle Solis (2003 – 2012) and Carlos Solis (2003 – 2006 and 2008 – 2012) as 4349 Wisteria Lane.
Known as: 4349 Wisteria Lane/Harvey House / Allison Home
Famous as the original home of The Munsters, this property was remodelled to look less spooky for Desperate Housewives, where it was the home of the Mullin family (?-2005), Betty Applewhite (2005–2006), Alma Hodge (2007) and the Hunter/McDermott family (2007–2012)
Known as: 1313 Mockingbird Lane / 4351 Wisteria Lane / Maxim House
4353 Wisteria Lane / Hardy Boys / Johnson Home / Ron’s Barn
This was the home of Susan Mayer (1992–2012) [portrayed by Teri Hatcher] on Desperate Housewives.
All That Heaven Allows 1955 – The Brass Bottle 1964
Thrill of it All
Originally named ‘Dana Home’ after the family of Deanna Durbin in 1941’s ‘Nice Girl’.
Bedtime for Bonzo 1951
The Thrill of it All 1963
This was 4355 Wisteria Lane, the home of the Scavo family (1998–2012) on Desperate Housewives.
This property is a fully practical set and was built especially for Desperate Housewives Season 2 for the character Edie Britt. It replaced the church which was formerly at the end of Colonial Street on Circle Drive. Edie has now moved out and it was occupled by Renee Perry (2010 – 2012) until production ended.
4362 Wisteria Lane.
Desperate Housewives House (light green)
This property was built for Desperate Housewives and replaced the school house on Circle Drive at the end of Colonial Street.
4360 Wisteria Lane
This house wasn’t regularly featured in Desperate Housewives.
4358 Wisteria Lane
Karen McCluskey (2004–present)
The house was rebuilt following the tornado in Desperate Housewives, and is now a fully practical set with first and second floor interior.
4356 Wisteria Lane/ Mikes House / The ‘Burbs Walters House
previously: Walters House (Summer 1988)
previously: Hubbard House
Providence House / Klopek House
Built for The ‘Burbs it was remodelled into a different property for Providence. It can now be seen in Desperate Housewives.
Providence House / Klopek House (Summer 1988)
4354 Wisteria Lane
Leave It To Beaver House
Built for the 1996 Leave it to Beaver movie, this house replaces an almost identical, older property which was known as the Paramount House (it was originally built for Desperate Hours 1955) and was best known as the home of the Cleaver family from Leave It To Beaver.
The 1955 house is located in a remote place on the backlot and is not visible from the Studio Tour tram.
On Desperate Housewives, it was 4352 Wisteria Lane; the home of the Young family (1990–2006), Shepherd family (2006) and Bolen family (2009)
Cromwell House – One Desire 1955
Dragnet / The Car House
4350 Wisteria Lane
Nancy Drew House
4348 Wisteria Lane
Corner House / Matlock House / Deanna Durbin House
4346 Wisteria Lane
House of Seven Gables
4344 Wisteria Lane
Past Properties on Colonial Street
Vintage Colonial Street / River Road