The Houses on Elm Street
The Mitchell House
The house for Dennis the Menace (DtM) was, and still is, located on the Warner Ranch, a 32 square-acre backlot in Burbank. It features a city park with a fountain, swimming pool, city buildings, and Boston row houses. (The Ranch was purchased from Columbia by Warner Bros in 1973)
The Mitchell house and the little house next door - see the bottom right photo (it was not featured in the series), plus Dennis' friend Tommy Anderson's house on "Mississippi Street" (see Dennis' Neighborhood" page) are the only original structures left on the Ranch - built from 1935 to 1938 & having escaped the three fires of 1970.
The Mitchell's lived at 627 “Elm Street”. "The Donna Reed Show" used the Mitchell house until 1959, when the DtM series started. The Mitchell’s front porch was lengthened over the years after the series, including the addition of bay windows and stairs on the right end of the porch, visible in photo 3 below right. (See what the interior looks like today here.)
The Wilson House
The Wilson house was next door to the Mitchell home at 625 Elm. The "Blondie" series used this home as did the "I Dream of Jeannie" series and the Anderson family in "Father Knows Best". The house is not the original structure built in 1941, as it burned down two times in 1970 (photo below) and was rebuilt. Today, the house is used as the operations office for Warner Ranch and has brick fascia on the porch and painted cedar siding. (some material from Wikipedia)
The Elkins' House
Located next to the Wilson house was the home of Mrs. Lucy Elkins and others. In Season 1, Dennis by Proxy, a Mrs. Toland has bought the house. Lucy Elkins was said to be buying it in Episode 86, Season 3. (In Season 4, Episode 134: "A Tax on Cats", she is living in the Bewitched house.) The Elkins' house was used in The Man Next Door, Season 3, Episode 100 – the last episode that Joe Kearns was in. It was sold to the Sweetzers. It was also used as Miss Cathcart's house in the episode Miss Cathcart's Sun Suit (Season 1, Episode 32). The house was used later for The Partridge Family. It, the corner church and the Wilson home burned in 1970 and were rebuilt. (Prior to "The Partridge Family", the house was used by the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Kravitz on "Bewitched"). In the earlier episodes, the house had a porch on the front-right side with columns (photo below). In the 2nd season the house was remodeled and the porch was closed-in for unknown reasons.
The interior scenes for the Mitchell house, as well as the Wilson's, were filmed on Soundstage 7 at the Columbia (now Sunset Gower) Studios in Hollywood. The backyards of both houses were also filmed on the soundstages, except for the episodes listed below. The front exteriors of the homes were filmed at the Ranch. For views of the Wilson's "real" back yard, that is, the one on the Ranch, see "Innocents in Space", Episode 5, Season 1. See also Episode 18, Season 1: "Dennis and the Duck". Other views of the back yard are of it on a soundstage. (See Gallery 7 for photos of the Wilson and Mitchell's soundstage backyards.)
The Mitchell, Wilson, and Elkins homes are across the street from the city park. The "Friends" fountain (used as background for the credits) is more than 70 years-old, and can be seen in several DtM episodes. A large swimming pool is still intact but was not used in any of the episodes.
These days all of the houses at the Warner Ranch are used primarily as storage space and production offices. The occasional sitcom, commercial, or drama is still filmed on the Ranch. "The Middle" sitcom (ABC) uses the corner house next to the Elkins' home and uses Tommy's house for exterior scenes. 2014 and other episodes of "The Mentalist" (CBS) used the Elkins' house exterior and other locations on the Ranch for background scenes.
Here is how the Elkins' house looked in the late 1950's and early '60's, when it had the front porch and Doric columns, & with much more character than it does these days.....Dennis is riding his scooter on the left.
below: A closer look at the right side of the porch with its Doric columns. (screen captures from the series)
The steps are the only part of the former porch left, as seen in Season 3, Episode 100: The Man Next Door. This would be the last appearance of Joe Kearns. It aired May 6th, 1962. (photo from the series)
A rare view of the interior of the Elkins house. This one was furnished by the production company that created "The Mentalist" series. (info & photo by ColumbiaRanch.net )
The Wilson house after the fires of 1970, seven years after DtM ended. Look closely and you will see the vertical board-and-batten wood siding on the rear wall of the porch, so evident in scenes showing the Wilson's exterior. Also, damage to the cedar shingle siding is seen on the left. The house, which was built in 1941, was demolished and rebuilt. On the right side of the above photo, you can see the vertical rows of windows visible on the Mitchell home next door. It was not damaged. ColumbiaRanch.net photo
Here is the Bewitched series house. Did you know it was used for an episode of Dennis the Menace first? ---- Warner photo
Here is the house on the corner of Elm and Mississippi Streets. It's the home of The Middle sitcom today (ABC). It is used for exterior and interior filming. The steeple is not part of the house and sits on a lot in the rear. A large church facade occupied this corner from 1953 to 1970, when it was destroyed by fire.
Top & Above: the Mitchell house sometime after the series, note the partial picket fence, and changes made over the years since the series - note the extended porch with right stairs addition, and bay windows behind the tree. Also, one of the two windows left of the front door was deleted. The house was built in 1935 and thankfully has escaped any fires! (Warner photo)
Below: the Mitchell home in green paint after it was decorated for the Lowes Spring 2013/14 TV ad. The link for that is on the lower left of this page. (photo via ColumbiaRanch.net)
And here is the Mitchell house from the right side. (photo courtesy ColumbiaRanch.net)
Above: The Wilson house as it appeared during the series with board-and-batten wood siding on the porch. It burned twice in 1970 and was rebuilt. (ColumbiaRanch.net photo)
Above: the Wilson house date unknown with painted cedar siding plus brick fascia on the porch, and shutters on the windows. We wish that the board and batten siding that was on the front porch could be restored to its original look. The multi-trunked tree must be over 70 years old and is seen in many episodes. For a truly sad photo, look at the picture on the lower left side of this page of the damage caused by the fires of 1970. The original Wilson home was destroyed by fire! It's sad to note that we are not looking at the original home today. (photo by Warner Bros.)
The Wilson home in 2014. It does not have the charm now that it did during the series. It needs a paint job, a new mailbox, and a picket fence...Update: the house has since been repainted an overall off-white.
Another view of the Wilsons (and I Dream of Jeannie, Father Knows Best ) home in 2013-14, dressed for a Lowe's TV spot (link left bottom of this page). Note: as stated above, the house, we are glad to report, has been repainted an over-all off-white. photo from ColumbiaRanch.net
During Season 2 the house was remodeled and lost its columns and the front porch (photo in left column); that area was closed-in and a bay window was added. (above) It was painted pale blue for the Lowes spring TV commercial campaign, 2013 & 2014 (link updated). (The Wilson house was painted red, and the Mitchell home green). (Warner Bros photo)
(below) Another view of the Elkins' house taken in 2009, with the Wilson house on the right (Mark Duncan photo)
Recognize this house? It sits very close to the Mitchell house on the left, and was built for the 1935 Columbia film, A Feather in Her Hat. It's seen many times in the background of several Dennis episodes but it is not revealed who lived there. Back then, it had English Tudor-styled trim. (Warner photo )
Here is the Elkins' (later, Partridge Family) home on the left, Wilson's right. The pool is behind the camera. (Warner photo)
Note that the Ranch is a "hot set" and there are no tours.