The Frick Art & Historical Center

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7227 Reynolds Street, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

The Frick Art & Historical Center Pittsburgh Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
The Gilded Age at the Frick Pittsburgh Jul 12, 2012
Pittsburgh's Frick Art and Historical Center is a legacy of Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) and his family. Frick was one of the prominent industrialists of the Gilded Age of the late 19th century. He made his first million dollars before he was 30 and later was an associate of Andrew Carnegie in the Pittsburgh steel industry. In 1882 he purchased an existing Italianate style mansion in what is now the Point Breeze neighborhood. (The location, favored by tycoons, was distant from the smoke generated by the area's steel plants.) The mansion, subsequently enlarged and renamed Clayton, was the Frick family home until 1905. (House tour reservations are recommended, but we had not made them and were able to go on a tour when we arrived.)

Today, the grounds of Clayton are home to a historic house museum (Clayton itself) and the Frick Art Museum showcasing many of the artworks Frick collected. ( The majority of his art collection is displayed at the Frick Collection in New York City in the townhouse the family occupied after 1905.) Clayton and the art collection were preserved by his daughter, Helen, who arranged for them to be accessible to the public.

Clayton house tours cost $12 and last an hour. Visitors see the opulent Victorian decor of the parlor, dining room, and breakfast room as well as the kitchen and second floor bedrooms. The house was last decorated in 1903, with stained glass, velvet, gilding and even aluminum (expensive and rare for that time) touches. The house remained in the family until Helen's death in 1984, and so visitors view it exactly as it appeared when the Frick family was in residence. Anyone who enjoys historic houses should visit Clayton.

Also on the property is a Car and Carriage Museum in the former carriage house and garage. I found this display of numerous carriages and antique automobiles really fascinating. (Carriages were mainly for the wealthy, but cars quickly became available not only to the captains of industry but to their workers as well.)

There is no charge to visit the grounds, the Art Museum, the Car and Carriage Museum, the Greenhouse, and the Children's Playhouse (the visitor center and gift shop). Interior photography is not permitted.
Clayton house at the Frick Pittsbu…
Children's Playhouse (Visitor cent…
Greenhouse at the Frick Pittsburgh
Clayton house at the Frick Pittsbu…
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37 reviews
Adorable small historical home and art museum Jun 06, 2008
The Frick Art & Historical center is located in the Point Breeze neighborhood (near Shadyside) of Pittsburgh. The grounds hold a small art museum, historical home, small conservatory, gift shop and cafe. The art museum has nice rotating exhibits and frequent special events (lectures, happy hour talks, films...see website for information). The grounds and conservatory are very well tended, though a bit small. The house, once home to the Frick family, is also very well maintained and boasts a fantastic holiday decoration display. The center also holds periodic classes for adults and children on art appreciation, crafting and other special topics.

The absolute best event held at the center is their "First Fridays at the Frick" music series (the first Friday of the months of June, July, August and Sept, with rain dates on the subsequent Saturdays). The series typically brings in a different type of musical act each week to perform on the lawn. Concert goers are encouraged to bring picnics (complete with wine!) and congregate on the grass. The award-winning cafe is also available for those choosing not to bring their own picnic. The best part is that admission is simply a suggested $5 donation.

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