THE REAL PALMER RESIDENCE


The house, the tree, the legend! Built in 1923, this home's particular mixture of Colonial Revival design and cedar-shake roof are quintessentially Pacific Northwest. It is, to me, pure Twin Peaks. As a filming location it's brilliant in that it immediately conveys all you need to know about the Palmer family: relatively well-to-do (Leland was the town lawyer); isolated; a typical, if incredibly dysfunctional (the tree) American family.

When my good friend Travis and I first arrived at this house we were awestruck by how much this location felt like Twin Peaks. The mood was transporting. It seemed that the house dwelt in a world all its own...almost as if it were stuck in time as Laura's house. It's interesting to note that the house isn't actually on a quiet tree-lined residential street as one might imagine. It's actually on a small highway which serves as the main route through town. The house, however, is perfectly tucked away behind a very tall row of hedges. It's clear from visiting spots like this that the Twin Peaks location scouts had amazing talent and vision. As Travis and I walked closer to the house and looked over toward the garage, we realized that they were preparing for a garage sale. We decided to knock on the door to ask whether it was alright to photograph the house. The very hospitable homeowner gave her permission. Her name escapes me now, but she was a very gracious host and was eager to share her Twin Peaks story with us: It was the fall of 1989 when the location scout approached the family and offered to pay them somewhere around $100 to film their home for an upcoming TV series. Needless to say, they were thrilled at the prospect of their house being used on a television show. They immediately agreed to let them use their home as the Palmer residence. Apparently, they intended to use this house's interior as well as its exterior, for the show and over the course of the shoot, they even filmed a few scenes inside the house, but ultimately, they decided that the interior wasn't quite what they had envisioned for the Palmer family. The owner told us that the entire crew was incredibly courteous during the course of the shoot. They wrapped it up after two days of filming and the rest is TV history.

After grilling our hostess, we took our photos then wandered over to where she was setting up for the garage sale. It turned out that the sale was being given in preparation for a move –they were selling the house. We bought two mugs with photos of the house on them which they'd had made up during the series' run. We said our goodbyes and left. Sometime in early 2006, the house was sold. The new owners of this house are Twin Peaks fans! What luck! They weren't aware that they had purchased the Palmer house until one day several fans showed up snapping photos from the sidewalk. Obviously, being fans from when the show originally aired, they were shocked and elated to find that they owned this rare and precious bit of Twin Peaks history. UPDATE: For Sale...

The exterior of the house used in Fire Walk With Me, shown below.

The interior of this house was used in both the pilot and FWWM, then recreated as a set for the rest of the series.

Though I've never been inside the house (much to my horrendous disappointment), I've heard from several sources that they changed very little about the interior before they filmed. In fact, most of the decor, furniture, knick-knacks, plants, etc. are the owner's own. The photograph below was taken by my friend Travis in 1992, just after the release of FWWM.
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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

personally I would be worried that Bob would be hiding behind my dresser if I lived in Laura's house

travis said...

ROSEANNE!!!!

Anonymous said...

I particularly love the shot where the tree's leafless and gnarly black branches extend towards the house. It's almost like watching Evil creeping up to them ...

BTW: Great, great website. Some awesome 'peaksy' photography here. Keep up the good work!

Linsoflondon said...

The original house is the only location i cant find on street view, is that cause its hidden behind trees? xx

C H A R L E S said...

That's correct. But if you go back south on the other side of the street (the side the house is on) there's one frame where you can see it. try that. Good luck