Where Is Seattle Grace Hospital from 'Grey's Anatomy' in Real Life?

The original facade of Seattle Grace Hospital. Photo via Joe Mabel

by Emmylou in Seattle

"Grey's Anatomy" has been on the air for such a long time that its main setting, the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital (SGH), is no longer called that. After a merger with the Mercy West Medical Center, it became known as the Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital before it finally came to be called by its current name: Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Just where is the real Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital then? You might ask.

The equivalent of the "Grey's Anatomy" hospital in real life is most likely the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Just like Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, Harborview is a designated Level I adult and pediatric trauma and verified burn center—the only one in the state of Washington.

Harborview Medical Center in First Hill, Seattle. Via Joe Mabel

Names-wise, there used to be a 40-bed medical center called Grace Hospital in 1880s Seattle, according to historian Clarence Bagley. It was ultimately destroyed in 1905. 

How about the Space Needle showing up in the background during Seattle Grace Hospital scenes then? Where is this specific building? Is there a real "Grey's Anatomy" hospital in Seattle?

With the Space Needle as backdrop, the headquarters of KOMO-TV at 140 4th Ave N, Seattle provided the perfect filming location for the first ever episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' (right via ABC)

What you saw was KOMO Plaza, home to KOMO-TV, along Denny Way in Seattle. Formerly known as Fisher Plaza, the two-building complex has the unforgettable helipad seen on the pilot episode of the series. The iconic Space Needle (which was built in the same year as another classic American show) is just a three-minute walk away. This is why it casually towers above the "hospital." 

As the show progressed, exterior filming for the hospital scenes moved to such places as the VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center and West Los Angeles College, both in California. 

The indoor hospital scenes—from the ER to the hallways and patient rooms—have been shot on a soundstage at Prospect Studios in Los Feliz, also in California. 

"Grey's Anatomy" is now one of the longest-running TV series in primetime history. The doctors might not be in Emerald City but they are certainly in "Grey's Anatomy's" fans' hearts.  

Although 'Grey's Anatomy' is mostly filmed in California now, the show makes sure to pay tribute to quintessential Jet City locations like Pike Place Market


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