Dexter Filming Locations: The Choirmaster's Gazebo


The location: The Choirmaster's Gazebo

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A gazebo in a park, plus a building under construction nearby.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. In Miami.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 1 (of Season One), "Dexter".

    It is at the very start of the very first episode, as we watch Dexter abduct his first victim, choirmaster 'Mike Donovan', who has been murdering little boys.

    The scene is at night, and we first see a boys choir singing inside a white gazebo (glowing with white lights). As they reach the end of their song, and applause breaks out, the camera pulls back to show a smug, smiling 'Mike Donovan', the choir leader, who takes a bow.

    The camera pulls back farther, to show Dexter in his car, watching from a distance as Donovan shakes hands with admiring members of the audience.

    Next, we cut to a few minutes later, to a shot of the spot where Donovan has parked his car. It is next to a building which is under construction.

    He gets into the drivers' seat, but as soon as he closes the door, Dexter (who was hiding in the back seat), throws a noose of wire around Donovan's neck, taking him prisoner.

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. A gazebo, in a park, and a building nearby.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. Both the gazebo and the building under construction are actually in the small Miami city of Miami Springs, Florida, - which is located about 7 miles northwest of Miami, and about a mile north of Miami International Airport.

    The gazebo is located in the center of a grassy park area in the middle of a Miami Springs traffic circle (roundabout) where several streets converge, including Curtiss Parkway, Royal Poiciana Boulevard, Westward Drive and Palmetto Drive. ( It's just a block southwest of the Miami River canal. )

    Donovan has his car parked across the street from the gazebo, to the south. His car is on the west side of Palmetto Drive, just south of Curtis Parkway.

    The building that was under construction is now the Miami Springs branch of SunTrust Bank, located at 101 Curtiss Parkway. (It opened in November of 2005, not long after this scene was filmed.) Donovan's car is just east/southeast of that building.

    ( A second building can also be seen in the abduction scene, right across from the building under construction. This is a small office building, containing, among other things, a mortgage broker, and its address is 111 Curtiss Parkway. )

    Here is an aerial photo of the area, with both the gazebo and the parking spot marked.

    And here is a map link.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. This location was a gift from a fan, Roy, from the Netherlands.

    He typed "Miami Gazebo" into Google and came up with this photo from Miami Springs.  He then used Live Local's aerial photos to locate the exact spot where Donovan parked.

    It sure looked like the same gazebo, but since it was dark, I wanted to be 100% positive. I was able to definitely verify the location's authenticity by checking old aerial photos shot over several past years. Since the building was under construction at the time of filming (late 2005), it shouldn't have been there at all before 2005.  And sure enough, when I checked aerial photos dated before 2005, the area where the building is now was just a vacant lot.  ( Dank u wel, Roy! )

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