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Wisteria Lane

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This street is a lot of things. Boring is not one of them.
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Susan Delfino

Wisteria Lane is a street found in the town of Fairview in Eagle State. It is the main setting for Desperate Housewives, with the majority of storylines primarily centred around its residents.

History

The houses on Wisteria Lane were built sometime before 1980, due to the fact Karen McKlusky moved onto the lane during the early 80's. Most likely they were built between the 1940s or 1950's due to the architectuture of many of the houses.

Since then the street has seen many changes, including the home of Edie Britt which used to be a yellow traditional home with brick accents, but after it burned down in 2004 it was rebuilt in 2005 as a pink cape cod with brown-stone accents. Also the home of Susan Mayer caught fire 2 times once in 2005 and again in 2006, both times only resulting in minor changes. The most major change came after the tornado of 2008, in which Karen McCluskey's home was completely destroyed. It was rebuilt soon after with a whole new layout and design.

Some neighboring streets in the are include - Hibiscus Circle, Hydrangea Circle, Cypress Lane, Freshview Drive.

Addresses

For a complete list of the houses during the show, see Wisteria Lane Houses.

Trivia

  • Wisteria Lane is filmed on Colonial Street in Universal Studios.
    • Nelly's song, Dilemma, is filmed on the same street and several houses are noticeable during the song.
    • Michael Bublé's song, It's a Beautiful Day  is also filmed on Colonial Street and several houses are noticeable during that musicvideo too. 
  • There is no house on 4359 Wisteria Lane, it is a blank lot between 4358 (Karen McCluskey's) and 4360.
    • For some reason in Season 8, two episodes have 4362 listed as 4359.
  • On all maps of Wisteria Lane (in and out of the show), the lane starts at 4346 Wisteria Lane, meaning there are no houses from numbers 1-4345 Wisteria Lane.
  • Wisteria Lane receives it name from the climbing vines of the same name, which blooms with masses of hanging flowers, a number of houses on the lane have wisteria vines growing on them.

Behind The Scenes

Finding Wisteria Lane

In preparing for the pilot, the Desperate Housewives production team searched a 30-minute radius of Hollywood for a suburb in which to film the show, but nothing was quite right. The production team initially looked into purchasing a block of actual houses for filming, however they felt the houses looked too similar and lacked character. So they went with Plan B - a studio backlot.

Only two studios in Hollywood have significant backlots, Warner Brothers and Universal. Warner Brothers had half a street, with houses on one side and a park on the other, but there was no sense of community, but Universal had Colonial Street - a collection of rundown house fronts that lined both sides of the street, and were close enough together to look good on camera.

The only problem was that the houses are only three-quarter scale. The team had to deal with the challenges of the unnatural - the houses being too small and too close and the sidewalks not as wide as the real thing, but the show is a parable and a slightly less-than-real look became an advantage, and added to the suburban perfection on film.

Assigning The Houses

The production team submitted a list of questions about the characters to executive producer Marc Cherry before assigning the housewives their houses.

  • The first characters to be assigned a home were Mary Alice and Paul Young who were assigned the Colonial Ranch-style house.
  • Susan Mayer received a barn-style cottage home, chosen because it reflected her artistic side.
  • The large classic colonial fits the character of Bree Van De Kamp, reflecting the prim and proper American values.
  • Mike Delfino's Craftsman house, was simply chosen for its location - with a diagonal view to Susan's house.
  • Gabrielle and Carlos Solis's house was given as the lumbering Victorian, set where the street curves. It is meant to reflect its nouveau-riche owners, with lots of money and no taste.
  • Lynette and Tom Scavo's house, was selected for its size and family feel, with a backyard for the kids..
  • Edie's new house took 20 days to build from the ground up, and was added between the first and second seasons, along with a cul-de-sac that includes a nanny's park and one "filler" house.

Creating Wisteria Lane

The Colonial Street backlot has a long history in film and television spanning over 60 years. With many changes happening over the years, but the transformation into Wisteria Lane as its biggest change to date.To unify the mish-mash of rundown houses on the lot, the art team used common elements in landscaping, colour and paint. All of the houses incorporate the same colour paint for the trims and the fences, and the wisteria flower can be seen in full bloom on many houses down the street.

At first, the houses were just facades, with interiors built on a sound stage, but once Housewives was picked up, something unique was done for the show, interiors were created, including Susan's kitchen and Mary Alice's living room, and Gabrielle could go in the front door and into the main floor of her house. This created a unique filming style which allowed viewers to watch a scene inside a house and look out through the windows into the street - creating a real sense of community.

To help audiences identify the different characters quickly, the team devised a colour palette system based on the characters personality and traits. They looked for colours that were intriguing, and then matched them up, these colour palettes are carried out in each character's house exterior and interior. For example Gabrielle Solis was set with warm orange-yellow tones to hint at her spicy Latino nature. Whereas Susan Mayer's character has more feminine sensibilities, demonstrated by the use of pastel colours.

Lane Map3

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