Only Murders In The Building -- “The Last Day Of Bunny Folger” - Episode 203 -- A foul-mouthed parrot becomes a critical window into Bunny Folger’s last day on Earth. Some of the individuals with whom Bunny crossed paths will surprise both you and our trio... Along the way, a reveal deepens our trio's need to solve Bunny's case. Charles (Steve Martin), Mabel (Selena Gomez) and Oliver (Martin Short), shown. (Photo by:Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu)

‘Only Murders in the Building’: Is the Arconia a Real Building in New York?

How the murder mystery's latest episode pays homage to Clue in its latest twist
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Following the breakout success of season one and that killer (pun very much intended) cliffhanger ending, Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building season 2 raises as just as many new questions as it answers. While last season saw Charles, Mabel, and Oliver tracking down the murderer of Tim Kono, this season asks “Who Killed Bunny Folger?” and this week’s episode, “Here’s Looking at You,” provides a crucial new twist that could hint at the identity of Bunny’s killer, and reveals new layers to the history of the Arconia, the apartment building that’s central to the show. With the Arconia more important to the plot than ever, the question is bound to be asked: Is the Arconia a real building? And what does this week’s new twist mean for the rest of the season?

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Spoilers for “Here’s Looking at You” ahead!

Thanks to a surprise reappearance of Charles’ pseudo-daughter Lucy (Zoe Colletti), our intrepid trio of podcasters finds out that the Arconia is home to a number of secret passages, which were likely frequented by the killer before Bunny’s death. The reveal comes via a number of flashbacks to both Bunny’s and Charles’ childhoods, which explain that Bunny is actually the descendant of the Arconia’s original architect—and that she not only grew up in the building, but also inherited her sought-after position of board president.

With the newfound knowledge of Bunny’s ancestry and how it relates to the Arconia, the reveal adds yet another layer to the mystery surrounding her death. Who else could’ve known about the secret passages, other than Bunny herself? The Arconia’s interworking passageways (many of which have peepholes into residents’ rooms) are also a clever nod to the classic murder-mystery board game Clue and the passageways players can use to sneak around the mansion undetected. It’s yet another way that Only Murders channels all sorts of eclectic influences to create its signature tone—a charming mix of macabre, intrigue, humor, and heart that’s helped secure a sizable fanbase of Arconiacs, both in-universe and outside the narrative of the series.

But for die-hard fans looking to explore the Arconia (and its newly-revealed secret passages) on their own, there’s a key question to be asked about whether the Arconia actually exists. The short answer: no. If you go hunting on the upper west side for a resplendent building called “The Arconia,” you’ll come up short—but that doesn’t mean that the series didn’t take plenty of inspiration from other real-life New York buildings that fans *can* visit, as well as a number of actual shooting locations used on the show.

For starters, there isn’t a building called the Arconia, but there is a building called the “Ansonia”—a New York staple that’s been home to a number of scandals and colorful characters, from opera singers to fashion photographers to baseball legend Babe Ruth. It’s likely that the Ansonia and its many scandals were the creative inspiration behind the Arconia and its inhabitants, but in order to visit the building that Charles, Mabel and Oliver call home, you’ll need to head somewhere else entirely.

For the iconic Arconia exterior, and much of the outdoor building scenes, The Belnord Apartments on the Upper West Side serve as Only Murders in the Building’s real-life Arconia. The iconic stone archways and wrought iron gates featured in the series’ title sequence and nearly every episode can be found at the Belnord, as well as the lush courtyard that Charles, Mabel, and Oliver frequent. If you’re looking to explore the inside of the Arconia, however, the Belnord isn’t where you’ll be able to find the apartments featured on the series.

While Only Murders may have used the Belnord as the Arconia’s exterior, the interior scenes are a different story. According to Dirt.com, fans can find the Arconia’s lobby (home to many an anti-podcast board meeting) at 270 Riverside in Manhattan—yet another ritzy apartment building on the Upper West Side. But for many viewers, the real architectural stars of the show are the sprawling apartments home to protagonists Charles, Mabel, and Oliver, and you guessed it—the apartments aren’t in the Belnord, either.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but while you may be able to visit the Arconia exterior and the lobby, those gorgeous apartments, like many others we’ve seen on TV and in movies, can’t be found in any New York City apartment building. They’re sets created specifically for the series, housed in the Bronx at Silvercup Studios North. While you may not be able to visit the apartments themselves, there are still plenty of Only Murders-related filming spots scattered round the city for fans to explore. Just try not to catch a knitting needle in the back along the way.

(featured image: Hulu)


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Lauren Coates
Lauren Coates (she/her)is a freelance film/tv critic and entertainment journalist, who has been working in digital media since 2019. Besides writing at The Mary Sue, her other bylines include Nerdist, Paste, RogerEbert, and The Playlist. In addition to all things sci-fi and horror, she has particular interest in queer and female-led stories. When she's not writing, she's exploring Chicago, binge-watching Star Trek, or planning her next trip to the Disney parks. You can follow her on twitter @laurenjcoates