A Guide to the Filming Locations of ‘Chicago Fire’: From Studios to Chicago Streets

The central hub of “Chicago P.D.” is the 21st District Station, which, while occasionally filmed at the University of Illinois Chicago Police Station on Maxwell Street for exterior shots, primarily sees its interior action at Cinespace Studios.

Most of the series’ drama unfolds across several meticulously crafted stage sets. Van Horn shared with NBC Insider, “The 21st District Station comprises five distinct sets: Front Desk, Intelligence, Roll-Up, Motor Pool, and Lockup. These sets are spread over two sound stages and a maintenance building, covering more than 15,000 square feet.”

Behind the scenes of Chicago P.D. Photo: Matt Dinerstein/NBC

He highlighted that the most detailed set is Intelligence, where fans regularly see the team strategizing over their latest critical cases. When Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) needs to brief his team, it’s the Bullpen area that serves as the gathering point for these crucial moments.

Molly’s, a favorite local hangout in the show, was initially inspired by and filmed at Lottie’s Pub in Bucktown. As the fictional bar grew into a tourist attraction, the production team recreated its distinctive atmosphere within Cinespace Studios to better manage filming logistics.

The set of Chicago P.D. Photo: NBC

On “Chicago Fire,” Molly’s is owned and operated by firefighters Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg) and Randall “Mouch” McHolland (Christian Stolte), along with P.D.’s Trudy Platt (Amy Morton), McHolland’s wife. The bar is designed to reflect the cozy, communal spirit of Chicago’s many neighborhood taverns, complete with string lights and reasonably priced drinks.

Photo: Matt Dinerstein/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Despite the convenience of the studio set, some scenes at Molly’s still necessitate filming at the original Lottie’s Pub to maintain authenticity. “While we’ve built a set at Cinespace based on Lottie’s, we occasionally return to film exteriors at the actual location,” explained Demetra Diamantopoulos, a producer for “Chicago Fire.” She noted, “Lottie’s was originally chosen for its authentic Chicago feel, both inside and out. Bucktown remains one of our favorite neighborhoods to capture the essence of the city.”