The Grey’s Anatomy hospital is a fictional hospital, however, the show used the Veterans Administration Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center in California to shoot the iconic entrance scene.
If you have ever wondered whether you could drive down to Seattle to actually see Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, you can’t. The hospital is the backdrop where most of the drama on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy takes place. It has had a number of name changes in the 18 seasons and the over 16 years that the longest-running medical drama series has been airing. In the world of the story, the hospital is located in Seattle.
Initially, when Grey’s Anatomy started back in 2005, the hospital was known as Seattle Grace Hospital, which was one of the top teaching hospitals that had one of the best surgical residency programs. Following financial difficulties, the hospital was renamed to Seattle Mercy West, after it merged with Mercy West Medical Centre. Currently, the hospital is known as Grey Sloan Hospital, after the hospital went bankrupt again and was bought by the Harper Avery Foundation. The new name is a tribute to the cast that died during the 2012 plane accident.
While the hospital has undergone multiple name changes, the locations chosen for the actual hospital scenes are real. Firstly, it is important to contextualise that Grey Sloan Memorial is not a real hospital. Therefore, the hospital is not located in Seattle. Moreover, the show is also not shot in Seattle, but in Los Angeles (LA). Therefore, most of the chosen locations are in Los Angeles, such as the iconic Grey Sloan entrance with the stainless glass bridge with a view of the outside as the backdrop.
The scenes on this location are shot at the Veterans Administration Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center in California. Sometimes, in light of the location, it is reported that viewers have written into the show stating to have seen the LA mountains peeking through the windows. Moreover, the interior hospital scenes are shot at the VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center in North Hills, California.
Some of the hospital scenes that are actually shot in Seattle are the helipad scenes. These scenes are shot on the roof of KOMO-TV. Other scene locations which are not location shoots are shot on a soundstage at Los Feliz’s Prospect Studios.