Covent Garden Theatre and the Chestnut Street
Wolcott has explored the relationship between Covent Garden Theatre and the Chestnut Street extensively in "Philadelphia's Chestnut Street Theatre: A Plan and Elevation," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, October 1971, Vol. XXX, No. 3. pp. 209-218, to which the interested student of early theatre in the United States is referred.
Put briefly, Covent Garden Theatre is attributed as a source (or inspiration)
- by John Bernard, an actor at the theatre, in his posthumously published autobiography (1830): "[the playhouse] had abeen built from plans supplied by Richards, the secretary of the Royal Academy (a relation of Wignell's.)";
- by arts historian William Dunlap in his 1831 History of the American Theatre: "the plan of this building was furnished by Mr. Richards, who was Wignell's brother-in-law . . . the model was burnt when the house was consumed [by fire, in 1820];
- and, perhaps most significantly, by Henry Warren, for many years the principal scenic artist for the theatre, who made two sketch-plans of the building, probably sometime after it burned in 1820, which he described as being "after the plan of the old Covent Garden [theatre], England."