Gossip Girl’s Constance Billard School for Girls and St. Jude’s School for BoysOct 23rd, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: TV Locations
Another Upper East Side location that I set out to stalk while in New York two weeks ago was the building used to portray Constance Billard School for Girls and St. Jude’s School for Boys on my new favorite show, Gossip Girl. So, you can imagine my surprise when, while doing some location research before my trip, I discovered that not one, but FOUR different spots have actually been used to stand in for Nate, Chuck, and the gang’s elite prep school throughout the series two and half year run. And let me just take a moment here to say that using several different locales to represent just one place is one of my biggest filming location pet peeves for the mere fact that it makes tracking down sites all the more difficult for us stalkers. UGH! Why do producers do this to us??? I mean, just pick one location and stick with it, already!!! LOL Anyway, due to time constraints, I was unfortunately only able to visit one of the Gossip Girl school sites during this year’s trip to the Big Apple – the Museum of the City of New York.
Ironically enough, during one of our past trips to the Big Apple just about three years ago, long before Gossip Girl had ever premiered on TV, my fiancé had actually dragged me out to the Museum of the City of New York as a sort of cultural diversion. So, when we finally started watching the series this past summer, the two of us immediately recognized the building used as the gang’s school. And I have to say that my fiancé was more than just a little bit smug about the fact that I had whined and complained about being dragged to the museum all those years ago, when, in fact, the place had turned out to be a filming location – on one of my favorite shows, no less! LOL Anyway, since I had failed to take any photographs of the museum while there three years ago, I, of course, had to make a quick stop there during this trip.
The Museum of the City of New York is the most recognizable out of all of the Gossip Girl school locations, as it is the place most often used for establishing shots of Constance Billard and St. Jude on the show. In fact, the Museum has shown up in pretty much every single episode of the series since the show first began.
And while the Museum has most often been used solely for establishing shots on the show, there have been a few instances where the filming of actual scenes has taken place there, as well, such as in the scene pictured above which is from the Season Two episode entitled “In The Realm of the Basses”.
But don’t go looking around the Museum for the exterior stairway where the gang sometimes hung out during Season One. Those steps, which are pictured above, can actually be found about twenty blocks South of the Museum at a Russian Orthodox Church named the Synod of Bishops.
And to confuse matters even further, during the second season of the show, producers stopped filming the Constance Billard/St. Jude scenes on location at the Synod of Bishops and moved to another location entirely – this one not even on the island of Manhattan! For whatever reason, it seems that during Season Two all location shooting for the school scenes took place at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn.
And where is the Constance Billard/St. Jude school’s small interior courtyard that shows up in pretty much every episode, you ask? Not at any of the three aforementioned locales, actually. No, this location, unfortunately, can only be found inside of a soundstage at Silvercup Studios, where the show is filmed.
Because I was only able to stalk the Museum of the City of New York on this trip, it looks I am going to have to hit up both the Synod of Bishops and Packer Collegiate Institute next year. I’d also just LOVE to stalk Silvercup Studios, but somehow I don’t think they’d let me past the guard shack there. LOL
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: On Gossip Girl, the four locations which stand in for Constance Billard School for Girls and St. Jude’s School for Boys are as follows: the site used for most exterior shots is the Museum of the City of New York, which is located at 1220 Fifth Avenue on New York’s Upper East Side; the school stairway from Season One can be found at the Synod of Bishops Russian Orthodox Church, which is located at 75 East 93rd Street, also on New York’s Upper East Side; the school campus used in Season Two can be found at Packer Collegiate Institute, which is located at 170 Joralemon Street in Brooklyn, and, finally, the school’s courtyard is located at Silvercup Studios, which is located at 42-22 22nd Avenue in Long Island City. Sadly, the studio is closed to the public.