Domed Structure Outside Window on The Big Bang Theory

Outside the window of Sheldon & Leonard’s apartment is a domed structure of some sort, reminiscent of a church or a museum.

Is this a real structure in Pasadena?

Based on a very quick Google search, possibly the city hall of Pasadena?

That’s definitely it; good find.

Wow, that is a gorgeous city hall for a city with a population of ~135,000.

Well, it’s been around for a while, and does have some of the most valuable real estate in Los Angeles county short of the Platinum Triangle and Malibu. Pasadena recently went through an extensive restoration of the city hall dome and facade.

However, the angle of the view with the background suggests that the window faces north north west, toward the San Gabriel Mountains. The closest apartments that could have that view would be in Terraces Luxury Apartments in The Paseo Colorado. However, there is a large white office building in the way of that view.


There have been extensive discussions about the location of the apartment, which tends to prove that we bangers really need to get a life.

This is only the first stage. Later you may find yourself involved in long discussions of the various objects found around the apartment and where Sheldon buys his tee shirts and what is written on the white boards.

I have always imagined that the building was the one on the NE corner of E. Del Mar and S. El Molino. Check it out on Google Street View, here. It is a rather old, 4 storey, red-brick apartment block whose exterior looks very consistent with the run-down interiors we see. (I used to live just a block away.) I guess city hall would be too far away for that window view, though.

The apartments in the Paseo Colorado mentioned by Stranger, which I think are the same as those discussed in JoelUpchurch’s link, are going to be far too new and fancy.

Incidentally, it recently occurred to me that as Howard works on the Mars Rover, he is not going to be based at the main Caltech campus at all (where Sheldon and Leonard, and probably Raj too, would be based), but at JPL. JPL is several miles away, at the far edge of Pasadena. (In fact, although the entrance to JPL is in Pasadena, most of its actual campus, which is in fact far larger than Caltech proper, is in the neighboring city of La Canada. JPL is administered by Caltech, but is not exactly ‘part’ of it. It is a government research lab rather than a university.)

Actually, on re-examining JoelUpchurch’s link, the first address given on that page is 2311 N. Los Robles Avenue. (The address 385 E Colorado Blvd is suggested further down the page, and this is the one that would be in or near to the Paseo, and close to City Hall, but also way too upscale.)

However, the N. Los Robles Avenue address is impossible. It is far, far from City Hall (and would look south towards it, not north, towards the mountains), and, if Google street view is showing me the right place (and I think it is - I know how those street numbers run) there are no multi-storey apartment blocks around there. In fact, I rather think that address is not truly in Pasadena at all, but in Altadena.

I still like the block at Del Mar and El Molino.

(Alright, this is nuts. I know.:o)

Actually my link suggests the view is from 385 E Colorado Blvd, which is a commercial building and not an apartment building.

I agree Howard would work at JPL and not Cal-tech. Actually Howard has worked on a unlikely number of projects during the show. I don’t think the same guy would be working on a deep space mission and a toilet for the space station.

No, I’m pretty sure that’s the Pawnee City Hall, not Pasadena.

Pasadena modeled its city hall on the one in a small Indiana town.

Technology for manned space flight (such as toliets) is generally run through NASA Johnson Space Center, which is the focus for human space flight development efforts (although research programs are often run by or in conjunction with other universities such as Clemson University, UC-Boulder, University of Houston). Jet Propulsion Laboratories, on the other hand (which has not worked on jet or rocket propulsion in any significant capacity since the mid-'Fifites) prides itself on its achievements in developing and managing the low-to-moderate cost and high effectiveness unmanned missions such as Voyager, Cassini-Huygens, the Mars Exploration Rovers, as well as a broad series of ground-breaking Earth observation and astronomy missions. The show no doubt exaggerates the protagonists involvement in various programs for comedic effect, and nothing is more comic (so I am told) than scatological humor. However, Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars has a very interesting chapter on the topic of waste disposal, which is actually one of the most difficult hygiene problems in human spaceflight. Shitting in space is actually a seriously difficult thing to do without making a bloody mess of your habitat in short order.


Well, hopefully it’s not a bloody mess, unless you’ve got some other health problems.

The Perfect Master on defecating in space: