What is it supposed to be on the show?
A. The Miami
Metro Police Station.
Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?
A. On the water's edge, in Miami.
Q. When did we see it on the show?
A. In Episode
10 (Season 2), "There's Something About Harry".
And finally, we see the station again in the Season 2 finale, Episode 12, "The British Invasion", in the aftermath of the Doakes & Lila fiascos, when we see Debra & Angel discussing Lila, and LaGuerta passes out invitations to Doakes' memorial service.
It's important to note that the show has used several different locations for the police station scenes, and this particular location didn't appear until the second half of the second season.
original police station. seen in the first season and most of the
second, was a false front constructed on the side of a sound stage at Sunset-Gower
Studio in Hollywood.)
Q. What is it actually in real life?
A. A county
building near a marina.
Q. Where can I find it in real life?
A. The scene was filmed at a 2,830 square foot office building at 13575 Mindanao Way in Marina Del Rey, CA, just a few yards away from Burton Chase Park, a grassy park perched at the southwest end of Mindanao Way, and surrounded by water on three sides.
As you head west down Mindanao Way, towards Burton Chase Park, you'll find the "police" building on your right (northwest) side, on the water's edge, in a marina parking lot, just before you come to where Mindanao Way ends in a U-turn loop.
( It's essentially the same parking lot where "The O.C." filmed their infamous Ferris Wheel kissing scene for that TV show's popular first season. )
The building looks the same as it did on the show. The only real change they made was to add a fake banner across the front reading "Miami Metro Police", and add a few extras in police uniform milling around.
When I went to shoot photos of the building, I found no signs, no lettering on the building indicating exactly what kind of an office it was, only a small round Los Angeles County seal on the side wall, and the number 13575.
But Googling the 13575 Mindanao address turns up references to "Pacific Ocean Management" (real estate brokers), "L.A. County Beaches & Harbors - Marina Office", "Dock 77" and "Pier 44 Marina". So it looks like the building is shared by at least two tenants.
Park has been used for other "Dexter" scenes as well, including
a scene where Debra & Quinn bust a "Skinner" suspect,
and the final scene in Season Three: the wedding
of Dexter and Rita.
I shot the photos below in Sept. 2008
Since they were
still using the original police station location (at the studio) in the
second season, I'm not sure exactly why they introduced this new
location, but I can think of two possible reasons. One, they might
have thought that a waterside location (where you can see the marina behind
them) would make it look more like Miami (especially since they are no
longer filming in the real Miami). Or perhaps they were simply unable
to film at their old spot for one reason or another, and turned to this
new one out of simple necessity. Whatever, it will be interesting to see
if it pops up in the third season as well...
Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?
A. This one was hard. I could tell it was at a marina, but which marina? Just counting the biggest ones in the L.A. area, there's the Shoreline Village Marina, the Alamitos Marina, the Cabrillo Marina and Marina Del Rey.
So I checked the background and tried to match the condos seen across the channel. It looked more like Marina Del Rey than the others, so I started there, but after searching for hours, I still couldn't pinpoint that building.
when looking at the scene again, I glimpsed (for a brief second) a tall
building with black & white vertical stripes, located behind the
police headquarters. I went looking for it (instead of the condos) and
found it rather quickly. Then, it was just a matter of determining exactly
which building it was on Mindanao. Aerial photos made that easy, and then
I went there in person to double-check (and shoot the photos above).
Dexter screenshots from the show and all related characters & elements
are trademarks of and © Showtime.
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