1955 Doc’s mansion interior
THE ROBERT R. BLACKER HOUSE
Doc’s Mansion interior location from “Back to the Future”
Located in Pasadena, California
Editor’s Note: this text is from the old version of BTTF tour – we’re going to be revising these articles in the coming days. The photos and screenshots from these articles will all be down below for the time being, instead of thumbnails within the text. Thanks for your patience, and visit us again when everything’s tidied up!
THIS LOCATION IS A PRIVATE RESIDENCE! DO NOT DISTURB OCCUPANTS, OR APPROACH THE DOOR OR PROPERTY IN ANY WAY. STRAIGHT FROM THE RESIDENTS: TAKE PHOTOS FROM THE STREET ONLY OR THE OWNER WILL CALL POLICE!
IN THE FILM: After Marty has a creepy encounter with his Mother and her family in 1955, he foots it across town over to Doc Brown’s. After his initial suprise at seeing that Doc’s future home is only the garage of his Mansion, he runs up the driveway at the Gamble house, only to end up two or three miles away at another Greene & Greene creation, the Blacker-Hill house! This house is nearly equally famous as the Gamble house in Craftsman circles, but less known to the public as it remains a PRIVATE RESIDENCE in a very exclusive neighborhood.
The front door of the house is very similar to the Gamble house door. Some have speculated this house was chosen because of the similarity of the front door. Untrue, and we’ll prove it in a few minutes! Just rest assured that we’re big enough nerds to offer you the guarantee that THIS is the same door that Marty McFly knocks on when he first finds Doc Brown with that contraption on his head.
This house was built for Robert R. Blacker and is best known as the Robert R. Blacker house. From the 1950s until 1985 it was owned by the Hill Family. It was built two years before the Gamble House (in 1907). It is on the National Register of Historic Places, number 86000147.
Interestingly, for the original movie, instead of building the interior of Doc’s mansion on a soundstage, they filmed the scenes inside the Blacker-Hill house. Apparently they were barred from filming inside the Gamble house – Speaking with the staff there it seems that it had something to do with the crew equipment possibly ruining the floors. But for whatever reason, The Blacker-Hill house is the real deal. Because it’s public property, you can run up the Gamble house driveway, but if you want to see where Marty walked through Doc’s door you’d better take yourself southwest, just off of Oak Knoll ave. For some reason the adress of this house does not work in Mapquest, GoogleMaps, or Yahoo Maps directions, so we’re providing coordinates at the bottom the page.
(Editor’s Note: Remember DO NOT approach this house for any reason! The owners very specifically gave BTTFtour.com this message to give to all the BTTF fans everywhere: Take any pictures you want from the street, but do not come ON the porch or any of the rest of the property to try and get photos of the inside, or you will go to Jail. Even if you see someone outside on the lawn, DO NOT bother them. This is the specific request of the residents.)
Update: We have learned that the “Friends of the Gamble House” occasionally organizes tours of the Blacker house. Contact the Gamble House for information on any possible upcoming tours. They are NOT held on a regular basis. In fact, I believe the last or one of the last ones was in 1998. But it may happen again. Read an article on the history of the house here. And another site with a few links here. Also some great photos and possibly one of the best articles can be found Here.
The Verdict: Even though you can’t get close to the famous doors, or even get so much as a peep at the interior (which were the insides of Doc’s house in the films), This location is still worth visiting. You can easily see the doors from the street, and it’s close enough to the other locations so that you don’t end up travelling far out of the way. Also, from the right angle, and with a decent zoom, you will get nice photos of those doors, no problem.
Remember, there is one – AND ONLY ONE – shot you may have at seeing the inside of the Blacker-Hill house. Occasionally the “friends of the Gamble House” in Pasadena lets charters private events for it’s members and VIPs. To become a member or find more information, visit the Gamble House website at GambleHouse.org
ADDRESS: 1777 HILLCREST AVE, PASADENA, CA
GPS COORDINATES: 34.127108, -118.133583