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  • Writer's pictureRussell Webb

New York City, 1823 - Home Sweet Home

What do you imagine of when you hear New York City?

Is it huge sky scrapers blocking the sun? Millions of people crowding the sidewalks? The latest in fashion and trends?

New York City Skyline, 1823

Well in 1823, the year of our upcoming Christmas movie, the big apple was quite different then it is today. Early 19th century city planning was underway. With a population of 125,000, land was being sold at a steady pace, but little had been developed north of Houston Street.

Clarke, our lovable and frustrated writer in A Gift For All Ages, lived in an area that his grandfather named ‘Chelsea’. His grandfather left him a property, and he sold some of the lots on Ninth street to family and friends to be developed into private homes. The family dwelling itself came to belong to Clarke and his wife Catherine. The area around them was mostly rural and wooded. In fact Clarke’s property was a large orchard of which he would later donate several lots to the Episcopalian Diocese of New York.

Chelsea home of Clarke and Catherine

As we developed our set, we wanted to stay as authentic as possible to the period. We created a country-gentry style home for Clarke and Catherine. Trees, instead of buildings, lined the outside of their parlor room. Plenty of space to fly a kite and see snow covered fields through their second story windows. Inside, simple furnishings for our unostentatious couple.

We invite you to discover the A Gift For All Ages set for yourselves, and hope that you will be transported back to a simpler place. An age where anything was possible, even a little holiday magic.

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