Green Card

Take a Tour of the Beautiful, Historic Apartment in the movie, Green Card

While putting together a recent post listing a whole bunch of my fave decorating and design books, I came across my copy of The Conservatory Book by Peter Marston.  This book is filled with pictures of beautiful greenhouses. The book reminded me of another beautiful greenhouse, the one in one of my favorite movies, Green Card.

Green Card is a romantic comedy, written, produced and directed by Peter Weir, starring Andie MacDowell who plays Brontë Mitchell, and Gérard Depardieu who plays Georges Fauré.   In the movie, Georges is in a difficult situation because his visa is about to expire and he will have to return to his home country, France.

Brontë, a horticulturalist and an environmentalist, is also in a predicament.  The Manhattan apartment of her dreams with a to-die-for greenhouse, has become available for rent, but the board of trustees overseeing the apartment building only rents to married couples.  Brontë isn’t married.  You can see where this is going.

Brontë and Georges get married for the sole purpose of achieving their individual dreams: Georges gets to stay in the country and Brontë gets her dream apartment with a beautiful greenhouse.  They have no plans to live together and go their separate ways after they exchange vows.

As you might imagine, things go terribly awry.  The movie is funny, sweet, romantic and has a surprise ending.  The majority of this movie is filmed in the apartment and it becomes an important character in the movie…a charming, captivating, wonderful character…especially the greenhouse.

The entrance to the apartment is one level down from the rest of the apartment.  (Click on any photos to enlarge them further.)

Tour the New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card

Whenever anyone stops by (like Brontë’s parents in this scene) they ring (or the doorman) rings on the little call box on the wall to the right.Movie, Green Card: Tour the historic apartment and greenhouse, conservatory

This is how the apartment looks the day Brontë moves in.  Apparently, it comes furnished, although, that isn’t really addressed in the movie.

New York Apartment in Green Card Movie 1

Here’s the other side of the living room.  Notice the built-in arched niches/bookshelves.  LOVE those!   There are two arched niches and they are built-in on either side of the fireplace.  It’s obvious the apartment where this was filmed is in an older building…probably historic.

New York Apartment in Green Card Movie 5

Things get complicated and the Immigration and Naturalization Service comes calling.  I love the “collected-over-the-years” look of the furniture in the apartment.

New York Apartment in Green Card Movie 2

The coffee table appears to be a bamboo style.  Notice the lamp shade.  This movie was made in 1990 but that same style lamp shade is popular right now.  Bamboo is pretty big now, too.  Classic style never goes out, does it?

New York Apartment in Green Card Movie 3


The wall over the sofa is decorated with a casual grouping of pictures.

New York Apartment in Green Card Movie 4


During the movie, Brontë’s parents make an unexpected visit.  The tray shown here on the coffee table is visible in another scene in the kitchen.

New York Apartment in Green Card Movie 6


This scene is from the day Brontë first sets foot inside her dream apartment.  It’s really the greenhouse she craves with a passion…the apartment just happens to come with it.  The conservatory has been left unattended for quite a while and it is badly in need of some tender gardening care.  Brontë is so excited to get to work, she begins tidying and cleaning it up while still wearing her coat.

Greenhouse in Movie, Green Card 7

Once it’s all dead-headed and spiffed up, Brontë turns on the sprinkler system.

Greenhouse in Movie, Green Card

The conservatory is really one of the main characters or stars in this movie.  Every scene in this room melts your heart…well, it did mine anyway.
Movie, Green Card: Tour the historic apartment and greenhouse, conservatory


Brontë is seen resting in the conservatory, contemplating the complicated situation she’s in.

Greenhouse in Movie, Green Card 6

Love the ceiling of the conservatory!

Greenhouse in Movie, Green Card 1


During the movie, Brontë’s friend Lauren, played by Bebe Neuwirth, stops by for a surprise visit.  She and Brontë dine in the conservatory.  This scene makes me think of Bunny Williams beautiful conservatory in her book, An Affair with a House.

Greenhouse in Movie, Green Card 2

The greenhouse is always visible through the French doors off the living room.  Notice the writing desk between the French doors and the other door.
New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card_wm


It isn’t there the day Brontë moves in.  Ummm…that’s never really explained.

New York Apartment in Green Card Movie 1


The view with the French doors thrown open.  Tell me your heart isn’t melting!

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Georges decides he and Brontë need to write pretend love letters to each other, to show they have a history together.

New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 3_wm

Brontë writes her pretend love letters while sitting at the kitchen table.  We get a brief view out the kitchen door…looks like a potting shed for the greenhouse.

Kitchen New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 7_wm

We get our first glimpse of the kitchen from the living room.

Kitchen New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 1_wm

Note the old sink and the cabinets.  The cabinets look like they’ve been painted many times over the years.  When have you last seen a bread box like the one shown here on the counter…or a spice rack like that?  This movie really makes me feel a bit nostalgic.

Kitchen New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 2_wm

Another view in the kitchen.

Kitchen New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 3_wm

No dishwasher…just a dish rack/drain board.  Even in 1990 when this movie was made, refrigerators didn’t look like that.  Love the vintage feel of this movie house.  There’s the tray (under the window) Brontë used for tea when her Mom visited.

Kitchen New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 4_wm

Even the stove is vintage.
Movie, Green Card: Tour the historic apartment and greenhouse, conservatory


Brontë and Georges are trying to live together during the INS investigation period.  She drinks decaf, he doesn’t.  He smokes, she doesn’t.  He eats red meat, she eats muesli, or “bird seed” as Georges calls it.  Yep, a marriage made in heaven.

Kitchen New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 6_wm

We see just a little of Brontë’s bedroom in the movie.

Bronte's Bedroom in Movie, Green Card 1_wm

Love the vintage dresser…so romantic.

Bronte's Bedroom in Movie, Green Card 2_wm

Below we see the matching chest/armoire.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like this with doors that open up to drawers.  Have you?  Wonder what this piece is actually called.  Chest/armoire just doesn’t really work, does it?

Bronte's Bedroom in Movie, Green Card 3

This hallway plays a pivotal point in the movie…a really pivotal point.
New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 1_wm
The bathroom for the apartment.
New York Apartment in Movie, Green Card 2_wm

We only get a few views of the rooftop garden.

Rooftop Garden in Movie, Green Card 1_wm

Not exactly sure what that little, glassed thing is.  It can’t be the top of the conservatory…it’s just way too small.  Maybe a skylight?   Ummm, any idea?

Rooftop Garden in Movie, Green Card 2_wm

There’s a bench for enjoying the view.  Wonder what the RL means?

Rooftop Garden in Movie, Green Card 3_wm


Additional Info.  The building where this movie was filmed is The Aylsmere.  During the movie, a few scenes take place in Lauren’s (Brontë’s friend) parent’s home, which is quite fancy. This is a scene of the entry/foyer.

The Adler's Home in Movie, Green Card 2

The scene in the dining room is my favorite.  I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to have a dining room surrounded with built in bookcases, filled with gorgeous leather-bound books.  I was so surprised to actually see it here in Green Card.  This scene made me want to grow my hair out really long and get a perm.  Andie MacDowell is beautiful, but she is especially stunning in this scene.

The Adler's Home in Movie, Green Card 1

A few more scenes from Lauren’s parent’s home.

The Adler's Home in Movie, Green Card 3


Lauren’s Mom playing a grand piano in the music room…

The Adler's Home in Movie, Green Card 4


The other side of the music room…

The Adler's Home in Movie, Green Card 5


Green Card did pretty well at the box office, winning Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globe Awards.  It’s the apartment and that gorgeous greenhouse that won my heart. 🙂


Did you see the movie, Green Card?  Would you be tempted to marry a stranger for a lovely apartment in New York with a gorgeous greenhouse…if you could have it annulled later?

You’ll find additional Movie House Tours here:  Movie House Tours.

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  1. That apartment makes me drool!

    I have a bread box very similar to that one, although it's stored away! My grandmother gave it to me along with a set of matching canisters when I married 41 years ago! I also still have the spice rack with spice jars she gave me. Mine is a bit more colorful!

  2. Oh! A favorite movie indeed – back from the days when I yearned to have the same green thumb as she did!
    I think a few pieces of the furniture get moved about as well as the writing desk. And she removes the sheers from the doors as well.
    On the patio could the mystery structure be a skylight somewhere?
    Sigh – off to find that movie! I wonder if Netflix has it….

  3. I love the kitchen table! That movie has always been fun to watch but it's even more fun to be able to see pictures scene-by-scene.

  4. When I saw Green Card, I coveted that apartment and greenhouse — thought all NYC apartment dwellers must have greenhouses. My son made me a spice rack exactly like that in shop class long ago. It's in my guest bathroom now and holds small white hand towels! Wonder if that apartment still exists? I may have to rent Green Card again!

  5. I think Bronte must have rearranged her furniture when the camera were not rolling, which explains the writing desk. Perhaps they had to cut that scene? In the first picture, there are curtains by the door to the conservatory, and that chair on the left in the picture is different.

    That little structure on the terrace is odd, isn't it? Could it be some sort of sky light for an apartment below? I saw the movie when it came out, but I have forgotten most of it! Need to see it again!

    Blogless Peggy, [email protected]

  6. I saw Green Card several times! I love Andie McDowell. Her hair is to die for, but i bet she spends quite a bit of time on upkeep, especially now that she is "older". Though her commercials never let her age. I always thought the apartment was rather romantic as well. i may have to find and rewatch this movie.

  7. Magali @ The Little White House says

    Thanks for reminding me of this movie. I had totally forgotten how I had fallen in love with the apartment the first time I saw it… And yet an other kitchen inspiration for me!

  8. I saw Green Card when it came out in the theaters, and I fell in love with it and Andie MacDowall and her fabulous hair. I loved seeing it all again in close-ups in your blog! Thanks!

  9. FABBY'S LIVING says

    Oh, I loved this movie, makes me want to see it again! Yes, Susan, you're right, I rememnber that kind of washing sink and a spice rack exactly like it and it was a radio too, lol! It was in our home in Astoria in the 60's. Thanks for sharing this, I loved it! Have a terrific week. FABBY

  10. I loved that movie so much…thanks for let me remember it…hugs, Flavia

  11. Paula Jo @ Home and Garden Decor says

    Oh, I loved that movie, and the apartment was very special. I loved how she did the gardening. What a great movie. Now, I'm going to have to get it and watch it again.

  12. Susan, I cannot recall seeing that movie, but now you have whet my appetite, I will try and find it.
    I love, love, love, the greenhouse. I would spend all my time out there. *sigh*

  13. Beautiful post, Susan! Lovely old Manhattan apartments — so rich is texture and detail, nothing else compares. Rosemary's Baby, Birth, Hannah and Her Sisters; the apartments are more than just backdrops, they're like another star in the movie. Greencard is the best! Put me in that picture, please …

  14. Green Card is one of my very best favorite movies. I've always wanted her apartment, and yes, I would marry someone and get it annulled if I could have it. I live in NY and I have never seen an apartment like it in NYC with so many levels. Must cost millions. Only in Hollywood, of course. I also wanted Meg Ryan's apartment in "You've Got Mail", which was in a brownstone on the upper west side.

  15. You have made me want to rent this movie. I enjoy all your movies reviews very much. I wonder if the object you mentioned on the terrace could be a cold frame where you put small plants to root or protect seedlings like a large cloche.

  16. Some info on the building that apartment is in.

    This blog is made for you:

  17. Oh Susan, that was great. Thanks so much for sharing. No, I didn't see Green Card, but I'd like to. And the greenhouse? Fabulous! Susan from

  18. Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    oh my gosh, for some reason, I was JUST thinking about this movie; although I hadn't seen it recently. Great post! I loved that apartment.

  19. LOVE this movie…it's one of my favorites. The apartment is beautiful and the music was wonderful for all of the scenes in this lovely apartment.

  20. Thank you for reminding me about Green Card…digging it out to watch again. Andie McDowell is a favorite as well. Love, love, love your blog!
    Blessings, Audrey

  21. ❁Velma ~Down Our Country Road❁ says

    I am so in love with that entire apartment…only IF it were really a house!LOL. Definitely makes one covet, doesn't it?
    I think maybe the conservatory was hidden behind the sheers and dark curtains on the sides as I can see some green in the transom above the doors.
    I'm thinking that strange structure is a type of skylight in the entryway of the apartment because it is very light in that area in the first two photos shown.
    I've never seen the movie, but with those photos, I'm going to have to so I can drool some more and, oh, maybe pay attention to the story line, too!

  22. Another comment Susan. You have made me look at movies in a whole different way, I check out the decor, furniture etc!!! 🙂
    Also thank you for the heads up on Gone with a Handsomer Man. After waiting for it from the library, I just finished it. I am now hooked on another author and character. It reminded me of Diane Mott Davidson's series with Goldy, she too is a cook and posts recipes in the back of the book.
    Am looking forward to the Teeny's new escapades in Spring.
    Meanwhile, I will be watching for house decor in movies…hope I don't miss the plot!!:)

  23. Here's another follower who was just thinking about this movie! How really weird that you should happen to post about it. It just goes to show that we are kindred spirits, now matter where you find us in blogland. Thanks for revisiting the great places in this fun movie.

  24. The greenhouse is truly wonderful! Yes, that would be a skylight on the balcony. Prewar buildings are SO wonderful with character that you just can't imitate!

    I haven't seen the movie. Nope–I wouldn't marry a stranger to get an apartment. Just not right for me. Besides, I think my hubby might object! 😀

  25. The greenhouse is truly wonderful! Yes, that would be a skylight on the balcony. Prewar buildings are SO wonderful with character that you just can't imitate!

    I haven't seen the movie. Nope–I wouldn't marry a stranger to get an apartment. Just not right for me. Besides, I think my hubby might object! 😀

  26. Sharon in Tulsa says

    I would love to have the ceiling that is in the conservatory in my home ~ it is just fabulous!

    Also, you just make my day brighter each time I read your blog & look at the beautiful pictures. You make me smile! Thanks!

  27. Ellen, Anzu says

    Thank you for this!! I absolutely love this film, and I always re-watch it if I need cheering up. I first saw it as a teenager and dreamed of a flat like it. Now, I have pictures grouped above the sofa, vintage furniture and a conservatory linked to my flat (although it's not technically mine – I have access to it). Funny how life can turn out!

  28. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Ellen, Thanks for your comment. I fell in love with her flat when I first saw the movie, too. What a dream to have a conservatory attached to your home! That is so wonderful that have one attached to yours! I would imagine it to be so soothing and relaxing to see it from your flat. Would love to see photos of it!

  29. My understanding was that Andie MacDowell had bought the greenhouse and had it attached to her home-that was during her first marriage. I always love the scene where she is sitting in the kitchen, in the rain, realizing she misses George…

  30. If I win a million dollars, the house I build will be modeled after the apartment in the movie “Green Card” complete with a plant conservatory right in the middle of the house! And I will set up my easel and paints and paint every day listening to the birdies that I have flying around in the greenhouse. When I’m bored, this is my favorite day dream!

    • Adriana, that sounds wonderful! May I be your roommate in that daydream? 🙂 I love that darling apartment and the greenhouse was an absolute dream. I love the birdie idea…perfect!

  31. I loved this movie (and own my personal copy) and love the apartment. Thanks for reminding me to watch it again!

  32. I suppose this roof top garden doesn´t exist in reality (maybe even the apartment is in another building) and was created by set decorator John Anderson at the neighbour building “La Rochelle”. I searched in google maps for Aylsmere and the roof looks not even similar, no small glass cupola and other significant details as shown in the movie.
    I found this photo on another page :
    There are 2 glass cupolas in the background of the photo, a smaller and a bigger one – not similar to the round one in the movie but combined with the roof top view in the movie and therefore trying to localize in relation to the buildings in the distance, the only possibilty would be at the roof top from the building “La Rochelle” – other buildings in the close neighbourhood are lower or/and have no similar roof/another view from it as on the photo-link above. It seems they were very good to feign as it would be real or there were any construction changes in the meantime.

  33. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Yes, I considered the apartment the real star of this movie; especially the conservatory! I believe it’s the prettiest conservatory I’ve ever seen. Come to think of it, if I were to build a house, I’d love to have some of these Hollywood set designers come up with the plan! I haven’t seen this movie in years. I’ll have to make a point of re-watching it soon.

    Btw, Susan, did you know Gerard Depardieu renounced his French citizenship and became Russian? He did it when Hollande was elected and instituted a 70% ‘millionaire’s’ tax. Needless to say, a whole of of millionaire’s took exception and skedaddled out of the country. When will politicians ever learn??

    Are you watching Andy in her “Cedar Cove,” program on The Hallmark Channel? It’s not as good as I’d hoped, but she is adorable. Her voice and accent are so cute. 🙂

  34. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    It’s currently on hiatus. You could probably find it on line if you were interested. I’m not sure when the new episodes will start (season 2). Perhaps they will fun season 1 again before they start the second series. I believe it was only 13 episodes long.

  35. Kim Shannon says

    I know it’s been a long time since this post, but I just saw it for the first time. Loved this movie apartment, especially the greenhouse. BTW, the chest with the drawers behind doors I believe is called a chifferobe. Not certain of the spelling. Sometimes referred to as a chiffonier. 🙂

    • Thanks, Kim…I’ve seen tall chifferobes but hadn’t seen such a small one. It’s a cute piece! I loved this apartment, too. This would be a good movie to watch this winter when we are all stuck inside.

  36. Hi! Great article! Above you said “Apparently, it comes furnished, although, that isn’t really addressed in the movie.” I think in the film they said when Bronte was first seeing the apartment that a professor had lived there but he died so it pretty much had been left as he left it. Such a wonderful film!

    • Oh, I had totally forgotten about that. Thanks, Lari!

      • You bet! I always thought that was sad that he had not kept up with the garden but how nice that the apartment was already furnished for her with what he left. I love the Mozart flute and harp concerto I think it is when she first opens those doors to the greenhouse – Just perfect!!! thanks for the blog – such a wonderful film to revisit often.

        • It is definitely one of my favorite movies. When I started traveling a good bit last year, I bought it/download it from Amazon and uploaded it to my travel computer so I could watch it on the long, long flight to Africa. It seemed perfect with all the music and the “Africa” theme running through it. 🙂 I also love the movie, Waking Ned Divine. It’s very different but the characters in the movie are wonderful and I love the music and scenery throughout.The Red Violin is another awesome movie, beautiful scenery, costumes and sets. I have trouble finding movies I like these days so when I do find them, I’m a happy camper.

  37. I saw this movie when I was in high school. 17 years later I have a dog and insist we call her Bronte. Huh….I wonder if this is where I first heard it. I really enjoyed going through the apartment again. I want to watch it again now. Also enjoyed walking through your YOU’VE GOT MAIL post. I’ve seen it so many times…xoxox love it!

  38. love the site…nice pics from this movie. i watch it now an then, sweet..funny….but i was kind of disappointed in the ending tho. they should’ve made a sequel or had an epilogue where Bronte got to visit Georges in France. WHYY is there no fan fiction for this movie? lol

    • I know, that ending gets me every time! I guess the way they ended it was just to let us know that they do end up together. That would have been fun if they had flashed some pics of them together in the future…maybe with children. We just have to imagine/create that ending in our own minds. 🙂

  39. Elizabeth Keating says

    It is so nice to come here and totally enjoy the conversation, specially in these difficult times. So reaching into my collection of films “Green Card” has always been a favorite. From what I have read, The Aylsmere Apartments DID NOT and DOES NOT have a greenhouse, further reading I discovered that greenhouses are illegal and not permitted in New York City..WHAT? Everything about that apartment is perfect including all the mismatched furniture (I love that)! Bebe Neuwirth character Lauren Adler, her parents home on Fifth Avenue is really The American Irish Historical Society, a Beaux-Arts townhouse and it is gorgeous.

    • So interesting! I didn’t know that about greenhouses in NY. Thanks for that info about Lauren Adler’s parent’s home in the movie!

  40. Loved the apartment from the first time I saw the movie upon its release! Thanks for the lovely photos capturing the charm and comfort of the flat and, oh, that beautiful greenhouse!!! Stopped by to say it’s a skylight, it’s a chifforobe, and she may have moved the writing desk from the bedroom, all mentioned in comments years ago 🙂

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