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Ultimate National Treasure Filming Map, Boston Included

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Today is Nic Cage Day across the Curbediverse, a day for celebrating The Legend and his legendary real estate hijinks. Why? Because Nic Cage.


It is the most eminently watchable of Nic Cage's oeuvre: National Treasure. In it, Cage plays Benjamin Franklin Gates, a man obsessed with finding the Treasure of the Knight's Templar that his ancestors protected for eons. To that end, he and his cohorts gallivant across this great nation, from Los Angeles to our neck of the North End woods. Herewith, then, the ultimate guide to the filming locations of National Treasure. And, if you want a more Hub-centric Cage flick, check out this filming run-down of the 2009 release Knowing. He plays an M.I.T. professor. No joke.


· That Time Nic Cage Played a Cantabrigian: a Knowing Guide [Curbed Boston]

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Patrick Henry Gates's House

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Gates, aka Jon Voight, is Cages's dad, who's wary and weary of the family treasure-hunting game. But Cage drags him back in.

Paul Revere House

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The aged structure is exactly what its name says: the home of revolutionary silversmith Paul Revere. Built in 1680, it is regularly open to the public.The house does not itself appear in National Treasure, but Patrick Henry Gates, played by Jon Voight, uses a lantern as a phony clue to depict Paul Revere's famous April 1775 ride warning of a British attack. The surrounding North End neighborhood of Boston features in the film as well.

Old North Church

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The Old North Church dates from the 1720s and is the oldest standing church in Boston (it's an Episcopalian mission now). The church was immortalized as the signaling center warning American revolutionaries of the British plan of attack on April 18, 1775: two flint lights in the belfry rather than one because the Redcoats were coming by sea, not land. In National Treasure, the Old North Church is used as a fake lead to throw off Ian Howe, played by Sean Bean, thanks to a phony clue tied to Paul Revere's ride (also on April 18, 1775).

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

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Nic Cage, as Benjamin Franklin Gates, and company make their way into the Birthplace of America over what once was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was built in 1926.

The Franklin Institute

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Patrick Gates, played by Jon Voigt, gives Ben Franklin's Silence Dogood letters to The Franklin Institute. A logical choice. Riley (Justin Bartha) at the edge of Logan Square and pays a kid to decode the cipher This kicks off the chase scene throughout Philly, which leads to our next point. (Image: Shutterstock)

Urban Outfitters

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While the storefront might not exactly be the one at 17th and Walnut, the changing room plays and important role in the Cage/Kruger romance. It was also a late addition. According to Clothes On Film, "[producers] had to think of a store where the two protagonists could feasibly buy these clothes." Urban was nearby and it all worked out.

Knott's Berry Farm Independence Hall

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Alright, here's where the Philly scenes start to take off, except this isn't really Philly. Gates and crew head to the Birthplace of Liberty for the next set of clues. Ian Howe (Sean Bean) thinks the next clue is the Liberty Bell, but Cage knows it's in Independence Hall. Crazy, right? Craziest of all: this was shot at a theme park in Los Angeles. Later, the henchmen, one hilariously named Paul, chase Cage through the park towards Philly's real Washington Square.

Washington Square

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The crew splits up after Ian realizes the next clue is at Independence Hall. The Kruger/Bartha combo head northeast, while Cage calmly glides towards Washington Square. As he jaywalks diagonally across Walnut St., a Philadelphia Trolley Works bus blocks him just long enough to allow him to make some space from henchman Paul.

Reading Terminal Market

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Aside from Cage's glorious hairline, here's where the magic of movie making really takes form. While Cage heads towards Washington Square, Kruger/Bartha almost immediately end up at Reading Terminal Market, some nine large blocks from Independence Hall. Yeah, it's a stretch, but one we're okay with due to the fact that Reading Terminal Market is a true national treasure -- pun absolutely intended.

Old Pine Street Church

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Cage momentarily shakes Paul, only to be cornered inside the churchyard at Old Pine Street Church. After busting up some gravestones that are hundreds of years old, the henchmen chase Cage throughout the brick-lined streets of Society Hill.

City Hall Philadelphia

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Kruger/Bartha escape Reading Terminal Market unscathed and hopefully well-fed only to find themselves on North Broad Street. With the Masonic Temple visible, the duo head toward City Hall. They rush through the courtyard and eventually make their way to Market East, where a crush of people causes Kruger to spill the Declaration of Independence onto the street. Bean, who is chillin' on Market East, grabs the map like a boss.

Stamper Blackwell Way

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Cage briefly runs past a little sign for Stamper Blackwell Walk, an alley near Headhouse Square. It used to be a house, built by former Mayor Stamper. Later, Rev. Robert Blackwell lived in the house. It was demolished and turned into the walk in the 1930s.

Headhouse Square

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Bad news from under The Shambles: the Kruger/Bartha combo lost the map to Sean Bean. Cage takes the news rather well and heads towards the car, which is parked in front of Cafe NOLA. Coincidentally, that's the spot with the Feds are hanging out just waiting for Cage, who left Paul in the dust but just can't shake Harvey Keitel. (Image: Michael Klein)

J. Edgar Hoover Building

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Benjamin and Riley tip the FBI that the Declaration of Independence is in danger, but are turned away. Undeterred and only on step short of crazy (i.e., passionate), the two continue to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence for themselves before making the decision to steal it.

The National Archives

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After 180 years of searching and a meeting with Dr. Chase, Benjamin and Riley stand only three feet away from the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin then realizes that the only way to save the document is to steal it.

National Mall

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On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Benjamin admits the likelihood of going to jail for their plan to steal the Declaration of Independence as well as the likelihood that Ian will steal the document if they don't.

Library of Congress

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Determined to prove to Benjamin that it is impossible to steal the Declaration of Independence, Riley details the security for the document, which includes heat monitors, sensors, video monitors, and little families from Iowa.

Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro Station

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Finally convinced that it's time to take matters into their own hands, Riley makes his way down the Archives Metro Station into a control room and starts doing his techie thing. Now able to access the security cameras in the National Archives, it's time for Benjamin to do his thing.

USS Intrepid

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After Cage is taken in by the police, Bean's character forces him to come to New York City to search for more clues. The drop point? On the deck of the USS Intrepid. The badass Cage eventually dives into the Hudson and escapes to hunt another day.

Trinity Church

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Boom! We've finally reached the climax of the movie. Cage figures out that New York's Trinity Church (actually LA's First Congregational Church) is the major clue on the back of the Declaration of Independence. After nearly falling down a centuries old, wooden shaft well beneath the church, Cage thinks he's done it. However, there is nothing but an empty room. Voigt tells Sean Bean to head to Boston for the next clue and the crew ultimately finds the treasure thanks to that badass pipe that Cage found on the Charlotte. "The Secret Lies With Charlotte," ya'll and no, Benjamin Franklin Gates, your Masonic ancestors were not crazy for believing in the Treasure of the Knight's Templar.

Greystone Mansion

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Treasure-hunting's a sweet enough game to set Cage up at Beverly Hills's Greystone Mansion, which was built by an oil baron and is now a public park.

The Arctic

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While the powers of Nic Cage (and Disney) are limitless, we highly doubt there was money, time or even a want to go up to the Arctic and film the Charlotte mission scenes. Cage and crew actually went to Utah. They find the old shipwreck, the all-important (and cool) pipe and then decide that the Declaration of Independence must be stolen, albeit for two very different reason. Oh yeah, Sean Bean leaves Cage and Bartha here for dead -- cool guy!

Patrick Henry Gates's House

Gates, aka Jon Voight, is Cages's dad, who's wary and weary of the family treasure-hunting game. But Cage drags him back in.

Paul Revere House

The aged structure is exactly what its name says: the home of revolutionary silversmith Paul Revere. Built in 1680, it is regularly open to the public.The house does not itself appear in National Treasure, but Patrick Henry Gates, played by Jon Voight, uses a lantern as a phony clue to depict Paul Revere's famous April 1775 ride warning of a British attack. The surrounding North End neighborhood of Boston features in the film as well.

Old North Church

The Old North Church dates from the 1720s and is the oldest standing church in Boston (it's an Episcopalian mission now). The church was immortalized as the signaling center warning American revolutionaries of the British plan of attack on April 18, 1775: two flint lights in the belfry rather than one because the Redcoats were coming by sea, not land. In National Treasure, the Old North Church is used as a fake lead to throw off Ian Howe, played by Sean Bean, thanks to a phony clue tied to Paul Revere's ride (also on April 18, 1775).

Benjamin Franklin Bridge

Nic Cage, as Benjamin Franklin Gates, and company make their way into the Birthplace of America over what once was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was built in 1926.

The Franklin Institute

Patrick Gates, played by Jon Voigt, gives Ben Franklin's Silence Dogood letters to The Franklin Institute. A logical choice. Riley (Justin Bartha) at the edge of Logan Square and pays a kid to decode the cipher This kicks off the chase scene throughout Philly, which leads to our next point. (Image: Shutterstock)

Urban Outfitters

While the storefront might not exactly be the one at 17th and Walnut, the changing room plays and important role in the Cage/Kruger romance. It was also a late addition. According to Clothes On Film, "[producers] had to think of a store where the two protagonists could feasibly buy these clothes." Urban was nearby and it all worked out.

Knott's Berry Farm Independence Hall

Alright, here's where the Philly scenes start to take off, except this isn't really Philly. Gates and crew head to the Birthplace of Liberty for the next set of clues. Ian Howe (Sean Bean) thinks the next clue is the Liberty Bell, but Cage knows it's in Independence Hall. Crazy, right? Craziest of all: this was shot at a theme park in Los Angeles. Later, the henchmen, one hilariously named Paul, chase Cage through the park towards Philly's real Washington Square.

Washington Square

The crew splits up after Ian realizes the next clue is at Independence Hall. The Kruger/Bartha combo head northeast, while Cage calmly glides towards Washington Square. As he jaywalks diagonally across Walnut St., a Philadelphia Trolley Works bus blocks him just long enough to allow him to make some space from henchman Paul.

Reading Terminal Market

Aside from Cage's glorious hairline, here's where the magic of movie making really takes form. While Cage heads towards Washington Square, Kruger/Bartha almost immediately end up at Reading Terminal Market, some nine large blocks from Independence Hall. Yeah, it's a stretch, but one we're okay with due to the fact that Reading Terminal Market is a true national treasure -- pun absolutely intended.

Old Pine Street Church

Cage momentarily shakes Paul, only to be cornered inside the churchyard at Old Pine Street Church. After busting up some gravestones that are hundreds of years old, the henchmen chase Cage throughout the brick-lined streets of Society Hill.

City Hall Philadelphia

Kruger/Bartha escape Reading Terminal Market unscathed and hopefully well-fed only to find themselves on North Broad Street. With the Masonic Temple visible, the duo head toward City Hall. They rush through the courtyard and eventually make their way to Market East, where a crush of people causes Kruger to spill the Declaration of Independence onto the street. Bean, who is chillin' on Market East, grabs the map like a boss.

Stamper Blackwell Way

Cage briefly runs past a little sign for Stamper Blackwell Walk, an alley near Headhouse Square. It used to be a house, built by former Mayor Stamper. Later, Rev. Robert Blackwell lived in the house. It was demolished and turned into the walk in the 1930s.

Headhouse Square

Bad news from under The Shambles: the Kruger/Bartha combo lost the map to Sean Bean. Cage takes the news rather well and heads towards the car, which is parked in front of Cafe NOLA. Coincidentally, that's the spot with the Feds are hanging out just waiting for Cage, who left Paul in the dust but just can't shake Harvey Keitel. (Image: Michael Klein)

J. Edgar Hoover Building

Benjamin and Riley tip the FBI that the Declaration of Independence is in danger, but are turned away. Undeterred and only on step short of crazy (i.e., passionate), the two continue to the National Archives to see the Declaration of Independence for themselves before making the decision to steal it.

The National Archives

After 180 years of searching and a meeting with Dr. Chase, Benjamin and Riley stand only three feet away from the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin then realizes that the only way to save the document is to steal it.

National Mall

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Benjamin admits the likelihood of going to jail for their plan to steal the Declaration of Independence as well as the likelihood that Ian will steal the document if they don't.

Library of Congress

Determined to prove to Benjamin that it is impossible to steal the Declaration of Independence, Riley details the security for the document, which includes heat monitors, sensors, video monitors, and little families from Iowa.

Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro Station

Finally convinced that it's time to take matters into their own hands, Riley makes his way down the Archives Metro Station into a control room and starts doing his techie thing. Now able to access the security cameras in the National Archives, it's time for Benjamin to do his thing.

USS Intrepid

After Cage is taken in by the police, Bean's character forces him to come to New York City to search for more clues. The drop point? On the deck of the USS Intrepid. The badass Cage eventually dives into the Hudson and escapes to hunt another day.

Trinity Church

Boom! We've finally reached the climax of the movie. Cage figures out that New York's Trinity Church (actually LA's First Congregational Church) is the major clue on the back of the Declaration of Independence. After nearly falling down a centuries old, wooden shaft well beneath the church, Cage thinks he's done it. However, there is nothing but an empty room. Voigt tells Sean Bean to head to Boston for the next clue and the crew ultimately finds the treasure thanks to that badass pipe that Cage found on the Charlotte. "The Secret Lies With Charlotte," ya'll and no, Benjamin Franklin Gates, your Masonic ancestors were not crazy for believing in the Treasure of the Knight's Templar.

Greystone Mansion

Treasure-hunting's a sweet enough game to set Cage up at Beverly Hills's Greystone Mansion, which was built by an oil baron and is now a public park.

The Arctic

While the powers of Nic Cage (and Disney) are limitless, we highly doubt there was money, time or even a want to go up to the Arctic and film the Charlotte mission scenes. Cage and crew actually went to Utah. They find the old shipwreck, the all-important (and cool) pipe and then decide that the Declaration of Independence must be stolen, albeit for two very different reason. Oh yeah, Sean Bean leaves Cage and Bartha here for dead -- cool guy!