It’s easy to understand why Bob Shaw and “The Gilded Age” production opted to build the opposing houses for the series, as such lavishly adorned locales don’t really exist in the world these days. And if they do, it’s safe to assume the owners are not likely to subject such historical landmarks to the potential perils of hosting a major Hollywood production. Still, as Saw told Curbed, ahead of production, he and his team were allowed to visit several of the old-world New York mansions that still exist, noting that he borrowed styles from each in endeavoring to bring the Russell House to life for the show.
According to Shaw, while the Brook and Russell households were largely fabricated for the series, the production has not relied entirely on sets, sound stages, and backlots for shooting. In fact, for certain scenes, the production headed to Upstate New York to shoot in the idyllic town of Troy, which still boasts impressive stretches of streets lined with structures from the late 19th century.
The city, of course, also stood in for The Big Apple during the production of Martin Scorsese’s wildly underrated Daniel Day-Lewis vehicle “The Age of Innocence.” As Shaw told Curbed, that 1993 film was the reason he had Troy on his shortlist of locations to scout. Shaw also admitted the city was even more impressive than he anticipated, stating, “I didn’t know it was gonna be as bountiful as it was. I mean, we really could walk for blocks and blocks in Troy.” And as fans of “The Gilded Age” know, the production has walked those streets aplenty over the course of the series’ run.