FX anthology show Fargo films in Evanston


Source: Downtown Evanston on Instagram

A truck from the television show Fargo. The show filmed in Evanston on Thursday, Jan. 30.

Jacob Fulton, Assistant City Editor

Fargo wasn’t in Kansas City anymore when the FX television anthology series filmed in two Evanston locations last week.

The show’s fourth season, which premieres April 19, features stars including Chris Rock, Uzo Aduba and Timothy Olyphant. Set in 1950s Kansas City, the season will follow two rival crime families, who have brokered a peace deal in which they exchange the oldest sons of the heads of the families.

Fargo is typically produced in Calgary, Canada, but this season’s footage includes a private residence in Rogers Park. Scouting trips around the Chicago area brought the crew to Evanston when the show needed other places to film.

The show shot in two locations on Jan. 30: on Judson Avenue, and in alleys between Davis Street and Grove Street and Orrington Avenue and Chicago Avenue. Marcos Classen, the city’s parking operations coordinator, said the city often receives filming requests, especially for the Judson Avenue location that features architecture reminiscent of older decades.

He said student films account for most of the requests, and Fargo was the only major studio production to film in the area in the past few years.

Classen said preparation for the filming process began last summer, when location scouts from the studio reached out to him and said they were interested in filming in Evanston. Based on the scale of the shoot, he said the city needed more information about what would be required.

“Because this was a bigger shoot, and the studio had two locations they were interested in filming, the assistant location manager wanted to meet at one of the locations they were looking at,” Classen said. “I went out there with my manager so we could understand what they were thinking about, because the area they were filming was more of a downtown area.”

When filming was approved, Classen said he had to notify residents living in the area, as well as any businesses, because officials needed to block off areas around the shoot to prevent any interferences with filming.

Classen said he was excited that a reputable television show was filming in the area, but noted the city was unsure about whether it would actively pursue similar opportunities.

“We’re still in the process of trying to determine, from a city standpoint, how many of these we want in our area, just because of the impact they have on local businesses and residents,” Classen said. “We have to be selective in terms of time and evaluate the effect they will have.”

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