Is the Constance Billard School for Girls on 'Gossip Girl' a Real School?

The Constance Billard School for Girls on 'Gossip Girl' isn't real. The fictitious school is based on Nightingale-Bamford, an all girls private school.

Toni Sutton - Author

Jul. 21 2021, Published 11:12 p.m. ET

Characters from both the original Gossip Girl and the reboot at school.
Source: Warner Bros. / HBO Max

XOXO, the reboot of Gossip Girl is here and takes place in a post-COVID-19 New York City. It’s been almost nine years since the original Gossip Girl stopped blogging about all the scandalous social lives of the students that attended an all-girl and all-boys private school. The new adaptation is brought to audiences by showrunner Joshua Safran and executive producer Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, who all worked on the original CW series.

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The new series on HBO Max introduces viewers to an entirely new generation of Manhattan teens. Still, the show follows the ups and downs in the lives of students from the same institutions: the Constance Billard School for Girls and St. Jude’s School for Boys. Are the schools featured on Gossip Girl actually real? Keep reading to find out all we know about the prestigious schools.

the original gg
Source: Warner Bros.
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The Constance Billard School for Girls that is featured on both the reboot and the original 'Gossip Girl' is not real.

Gossip Girl is based on the books with the same name written by best-selling author Cecily Von Ziegesar. Though Constance Billard is a fictitious school in Manhattan that Cecily wrote about and featured in both shows, it's based on the school Nightingale-Bamford. Nightingale-Bamford is an all-girls private school that Cecily attended in Manhattan's Upper East Side and graduated from in 1998.

The university-preparatory school was founded in 1920 and offers students small class sizes, lots of school trips, and a substantial tuition price per year of $56,750. In an interview with Avenue Magazine, Cecily talked about her alma mater and shared, "I never felt like I fit in with the Upper East Side Manhattan situation. So, I was always writing those books as an outsider, looking in."

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Like Constance Billard, St. Jude's is also not real, but writer Janet Malcolm previously concluded that it was likely based on the Collegiate School, located in the Upper West Side.

gossip girl reboot
Source: HBO Max
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One of the most important filming locations in the first two seasons of the original Gossip Girl was the Museum of the City of New York. The front of the Museum of the City of New York was used in the series as the front entrance to the Constance Billard School for Girls and St. Jude School for Boys. Also, the grand Neo-Georgian museum was used a few times as the elevated front courtyard that served as the hangout spot where kids would sit on the stairs before school started.

The open space was used for the girls to mingle with the boys of St. Jude’s. The reboot also shot at many of the same locations to depict Constance Billard and St. Jude’s. When fans see Julien and the rest of the cool kids hanging out and having lunch, they're at one of Blair’s old stomping grounds — on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New episodes of the Gossip Girl reboot are available Thursdays on HBO Max.

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