Recently, the “Gothamist” (+), was lucky enough to visit and photograph
“The Frick Collection” located inside Henry Clay Frick’s manstion (East 70th Street). The home was designed by Thomas Hastings and was constructed in 1913, though in the 1930s was altered by John Russell Pope to have it ready for use as a public institution. While the public spaces of the mansion are enough to give anyone real estate envy… what was behind closed doors was of a certain interest! With an old home like this you know there are some secret spots-and the gothamist definitely discovered some of them.
And below, some fun facts to be shared:
- Helen Clay, Frick’s daughter, was the one to erect a library on the vacant lot next door (6-8 East 71st Street) to catalogue her father’s collection. For a time, she housed this in the bowling alley due to lack of space.
- The bowling balls have since been replaced from ones Frick himself used, which had just two holes for fingers, and were significantly heavier than today’s standard balls.
- In case you were wondering, no, this is not the bowling alley that was used in There Will Be Blood.
- H.C. Frick and his wife were supposed to be on the Titanic (something that has been confirmed throughout the years), but his wife twisted her ankle and they stayed abroad for a few more days. If he had boarded the ship, there would be no Frick mansion today!
- For the most part, the paintings in the galleries are arranged in the way Frick wanted his visitors to see them.
- The fountain room at The Frick may be the most photographed public space in the museum, but that feature (with its sunken pool) wasn’t there when Frick was alive. Before he died it was an outdoor driveway (which did contain a smaller water feature).
- There are no ghosts at The Frick! Although, we were told this when we didn’t even ask, so perhaps our host was protesting a bit too much?