Federal Buildings Have a Starring Role in Saving Taxpayer Dollars

GSA program rents federal buildings for major motion picture projects

Lights. Camera. Action! Federal buildings have played an important role as the backdrop to some of your favorite television shows and movies. The General Services Administration, which manages real estate for the federal government, is using creative approaches to reinvest in our nation’s infrastructure. Through our Outleasing Program, GSA allows major motion pictures to be filmed, for a fee, in our federal office buildings, historic landmarks, and land ports of entry. In the past three years, the program has raised more than $500,000 to reinvest into the nation’s historic properties through maintenance and renovation efforts.

Federal assets have been used for a number of popular films and TV shows. Netflix’s hit series “House of Cards” with Kevin Spacey filmed two seasons at the Baltimore U.S. Custom House. Meanwhile, the 80′s classic, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was filmed at the Chicago Federal Building. The John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans was featured in the Academy Award nominated “JFK”. In the past twenty five years, over fifty movies and television shows have used federal buildings during film production.

Here’s how the program works. The film industry and the general public are able to use federal buildings through GSA’s Outleasing Program for federal space, which allows licenses for use of federal properties for a fee. Those who lease federal space pay for staff and utilities required, just as they would if leasing space from the private sector.

Next time you grab a bucket of popcorn to watch a motion picture, pay close attention, our nation’s federal buildings are probably playing a major role. GSA will continue to find creative ways to save taxpayer dollars by leveraging its federal assets.

If you are interested in leasing federal space for film purposes, please visit our website at www.gsa.gov/filmlocation

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The Ariel Rios Federal Building in Washington was frequently shown in “The West Wing”  television series (1999-2006).

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This courtyard is in the David W. Dyer Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse in Miami featured in “Absence of Malice” (1981).

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The Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York is featured in “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” (2003) and “Black Swan” (2010).

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The John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans is featured in “JFK” (1991).

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The U.S. Custom House in San Francisco is featured in “Boys and Girls” (2000).

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The Lewis F. Powell Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia, is featured in “The Contender” (1999).

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The Call Room within the U.S. Custom House in Baltimore is featured in “House of Cards” (2013) with Kevin Spacey.

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The Chicago Federal Center in Chicago is featured in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986).

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