A block in Hamilton Heights gets a retro makeover for Ed Norton's 'Motherless Brooklyn'

Updated: Jul 4, 2020


The Motherless Brooklyn set in Hamilton Heights

Wondering why a small stretch of 148th Street in Hamilton Heights is suddenly in a 1950s time warp?


The movie Motherless Brooklyn, set in mid-20th century New York, is shooting today in this northern corner of Harlem.

The Motherless Brooklyn set in Harlem

Directed by and starring Ed Norton, the thriller is based on the Jonathan Lethem novel about a detective with Tourette's Syndrome who tries to solve his mentor's murder.


The cast also includes Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Cherry Jones.

The Motherless Brooklyn set in Harlem
Vintage signs on the Motherless Brooklyn set

Vintage signs for a hardware store, pens and a hosiery shop are clustered near the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and 148th Street, which has temporarily been turned into East 108th Street and Lexington Avenue.


Nearby stands a vintage newsstand and an old telephone booth.

A vintage car on the Motherless Brooklyn set
Vintage cars on the Motherless Brooklyn set

The rest of the street is lined on both sides with old Plymouths and other mid-century automobiles, a thrill for many passers-by.


"You'll never see this many old cars outside of Cuba," said one woman who was snapping pictures of vintage models with her phone.

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