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Barn Raising in the Big Apple

Residents of the Big Apple might think they've seen it all, but an old-fashioned barn raising in the middle of Manhattan is an unusual sight for even the most jaded New Yorker. That's probably what The White Barn Candle Co. had in mind when it asked Union Square Group, a New York-based production company, to produced a 19th century-style barn raising in Manhattan's Bryant Park to launch a new line.

After months of planning, USG erected the three-story structure in 34 hours. For the opening reception last November, 500 guests visited the candle-filled barn. After walking through the barn, they moved on to nearby Bryant Park Grill for a reception. The candle-lit barn, old-fashioned carolers, freely flowing champagne and Manhattan skyline combined to create "a very hip, yet nostalgic mood," says Jeffrey Seligman, USG president. As an added crowd-pleaser, actress Meryl Streep was on-site to accept a donation from the new company for two charities.

The barn stood for three more days, before USG packed it away again. But it will rise again-every November over the next few years, organizers say.

Union Square Group 853 Broadway, Suite 1601, New York, NY 10003 212/979-7588; e-mail: [email protected] Web site:

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