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It’s real, it’s beautiful, and it’s called The Bayer Estate in Oahu’s Aina Haina neighborhood.
Just a snippet of a swooping shot overhead during the Hawaii Five-0‘s opening title scenes shows a lovely crafted cottage, seemingly tucked away in an undeveloped area of the island on beachfront property. However, this flash view of Steve McGarrett’s (Alex O’Loughlin) home is a tease since it gives almost no clues as to where it’s true location may be. My first guess was the North Shore of Oahu; however, after visiting the estate/set yesterday as part of “Hawaii Aloha Travel’s SOTB2012 Tour” of Five-0 sites, I learned that its one-of-a-kind characteristics were just what the program wanted to bring to the primetime show.
The Bayer Estate belonged to a high official of Alex & Baldwin named Carl Bayer. He was instrumental in formulating the Chamber of Commerce on Kauai. When he moved to Honolulu with his wife, he had a famous architect design this house in 1936.
Souz, the present owner, gave a history of the house and its role in the television show:
The main purpose of the house is to serve as a wedding or party venue, and this could therefore be a probable reason as to why filming happens here on occasion. But there is a dedicated sound stage with a mock up of the house, which is used more often. Located in the old Honolulu Advertiser Building near Downtown Honolulu, the crew reconstructed the exterior and interior areas of the house to surprisingly accurate detail, with the most obvious difference being decorating style. It was really fun to do a room-by-room comparison of the two in pictures (Bayer Estate on left, sound stage on right).
Here’s some interesting Five-0 trivia for you: The crew replicated an original Kauai artwork that hangs in the living rooms of both “homes.” It seems to be the only piece of art that was carried over. Look for it on the show this upcoming season!
Exterior shots of Steve’s backyard were very iconic and identifiable at the sound stage, with even a backdrop of the ocean to use for indoor filming. The front yard was charming and also borders an extremely busy Kalanianaole Highway.
We would love to hear if you recognize any scenes from inside of the house. Please feel free to chime in!
Video By: Bruce Fisher