A Slice of Scranton: “The Office” exhibit delivers Dunder Mifflin to the city

Noa Appelbaum, Health and Wellness Editor

For $55, this “experience” should feature Steve Carell himself.

Steve Carell was, in fact, not at The Office Experience, which sits prominently on the corner of North Michigan and East Grand avenues, but his Michael Scott lives on through the Experience’s iconic scenery, interactive features and many, many desks. The pop-up will run until early February, and tickets usually sell out each week.

The experience is able to account for many of the sets on the show, and the added details and references make some spaces really pop, yet other rooms lack authenticity and vibrancy, making them dull and tedious.

Rooms that are a part of the fictitious “Dunder Mifflin Office Building and Warehouse” are by far the most genuine — even die-hard fans of the show would have trouble finding much wrong with the setup. Pam’s desk, with her signature box of candy, sticky notes and pencils scattered across its surface greets visitors entering the primary office space. Behind her sit the other characters’ workspaces, positioned exactly how they appeared on TV, but with fun tidbits added that reference the show’s peculiar jokes and mellowed humor. One of Meredith’s desk drawers contains a bottle of wine, an innuendo to her continuous drinking problem. Jim’s table holds pictures of his children, wife and letters to Pam. Elements like these add charisma to the otherwise-standard office workspace the show is built around. Michael’s office, the conference room, the short walkthrough filled with bathrooms and the Human Resources corner are also true to the series and exciting to browse.

Unfortunately, the rooms meant to encapsulate other Scranton locations are often less than stellar. In particular, Dwight’s infamous Schrute Farms falls flat. Rather than reflect the interior of Dwight’s lodge, it instead resembles a lifeless, tacky ranch with almost none of the elements that make the farm so endearing on the show. After the office spaces, it seems as if the creators of the experience, unsure what else to add, halfheartedly constructed rooms that only appear in one episode, such as Niagra Falls or the beach from the “Beach Games” episode. 

More informative rooms are presented in engaging ways. In one area, visitors can write on the walls to complete “Stanley’s Crossword Puzzle,” testing their show knowledge.

Masks are required in almost all areas, and hand sanitizer stations are distributed across the building to protect against COVID-19 (although they frequently were empty). Most of the staff were eager to take pictures, and seemed trained in how to do so by touching your phone as little as possible. 

Overall, The Office Experience definitely had its faults, but its authentic office rooms, behind-the-scenes facts, and authentic architecture might make the experience worth a visit for a show enthusiast or aspiring designer.