The Frick Collection on Fifth Avenue is one of the great museums of the world, with two assets that together make it unique: the small but superb art collection put together by Henry Clay Frick in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; and Frick’s equally magnificent house, which Frick and the architects Carrère & Hastings designed to become a museum after the robber baron’s death. But now, the beauty and integrity of the house are threatened by a proposed expansion.
The New York City Landmark Preservation Commission (LPC) has approved a new design for the expansion that will substantially change the building’s landmarked exterior. A zoning appeal to stop that is ongoing, but the LPC is also considering landmarking two important rooms that the current expansion plan would demolish. If the Commission landmarks those rooms, saving the rooms will also prevent the worst effects of the additions on the outside of the historic landmark.
The two rooms are the Music Room, designed by John Russell Pope when the house was converted into a museum in the 1930s, and a Reception Hall designed by John Barrington Bayley in 1977.