So I went and scouted the Huntington. Here are the shots that I took (Each shot is a GALLERY, click on the image to see the rest of the series) and my musings, please email me with your thoughts.
Here is a gallery of the Office structure. It has a staircase inside that we CAN shoot, but was as un-steampunk as it comes. The outside was interesting tho, but the reverse was useless.
This is the approach and close ups of the structure that I thought could be a good base for Grey's tower. We'd have to build a plug for the door (the top of my arm upstretched is 7ft), but that shouldn't be an issue. The grass on the approach is nice, but I don't think it works as well as the statue garden.
This is the approach and interior of the Loge. I think it has some beautiful visuals but it is really only good in two directions.
The Shakespeare garden and the rose garden. The shakspeare garden is right outside the Loge and I am unsure if it is helpful. The rose garden is pretty with nice vistas, but I am unsure of how to use it. I like the double bench set up with the Astrolabe. I thought that could be a good place for Grey to be woolgathering. I'm especially interested in your thoughts on this area.
This is the back terrace and the rear of the main house. I couldn't tell if the awnings on the house make it worthwhile as a place to shoot or if it makes it moot. I like the Romance era feel of it, but those awnings... Also, the doorway is quite useful (but huge) and we could put a plug in and it has a nice Marble floor on the other side. The house does have a stairway and a library, but that is unavailable for shooting. The back terrace could be a good stand in for the library (if we can't find one) and I really like the statues as counterpoint to Grey's mood. We can shoot straight out and west (I think). The other direction has really large palm trees everywhere (you can kind of see them in the first shot).
The side patio. Felt a little to Africa/India to me. Thoughts?
The front entrance of the main house. Could be great for Grey. However it faces the main area that we would use for fencing (which firmly sets this as the Marquis' residence). We could put up a hedge, but I dunno...
The North Vista Lawn. This is perfect for the fencing match and the real reason to use this place. The issue is what we can get in relation to this place. Possible problems with the Palm trees? I took a bunch of shots with various lenses as reference. Dunno if it helps.
The Horse fountain. If we have a B unit go shoot James scaling a big staircase, this fountain could be at the top of it if we shoot it right. Also I liked the Marble chair, but it's in the middle of the woods.
The doors to the Library. I thought this could be a good model for what the doors on Grey's house look like (Albeit with a Judas hole in them). Maybe we could copy this design on Steve's laser cutter? Possible?
The interior staircase. We can't shoot it, I'm just tormenting myself.
The public library. Interesting exterior. Not much else beyond this though.
City Hall. Exterior and Interior Hall. This could be really useful. Dunno what you think. It also depends on price in relation to Huntington as we can't afford multiple thousand some shooting locations.
Interior courtyard area. Staircases. Fountain. Very cool. The reverse side of this building could actually be used as an exterior with a dirt street that would be very functional. Dunno what you think of these staircases or if the rest of it could be dressed. Thoughts? Could we just steal shots of the whole place? It seems largely abandoned during the day.
More interior courtyard, the upper levels, and the staircase upper levels.
Church nearby that could be useful. Not much available in terms of interiors, but it looks more English than the City Hall.
Some magnifying pieces from the store 'Gold Bug'. Favorites?