The Frick Collection has announced a new Davis Brody Bond-designed addition to its historic Carrère and Hastings building in New York. The planned six-story, 42,000-square-foot expansion will include galleries, reference spaces, classrooms, an auditorium, and a rooftop garden terrace overlooking Central Park. The Frick's personal apartments on the second floor of the historic structure will also be opened to the public.
The original building—once the residence of Henry Clay Frick, his wife Adelaide, and their daughter Helen Clay Frick, but always intended as a museum—was constructed out of Indiana limestone in 1914 by Thomas Hastings of Carrère and Hastings after Frick had acquired parcels of land on along 5th Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets in New York, including the Lenox Library.
Frick was an avid collector of 19th-century art, and envisioned the family’s house as the backdrop for paintings and sculptures by many of the Old Masters, with the intention that, following their deaths, the house would become a public gallery. Helen Clay Frick founded the Frick Art Reference Library in 1920, and The Frick Collection opened to the public in 1935. In 1934, the original mansion was expanded under the direction of John Russell Pope, and in 2011, Davis Brody Bond designed the museum's Portico Gallery, using an exterior loggia.
"We seek to further realize his vision," Frick director Ian Wardropper said in a release. "And, at the same time, [to] secure the institution's future through a sensitive plan that is respectful of the museum’s tradition and the community."
Here are some initial reactions to the announcement:
What is the Frick thinking? This scheme seems depressingly emblematic. It speaks of a broader dead end, a lack of institutional creativity.
— ChristopherHawthorne (@HawthorneLAT) June 10, 2014
@HawthorneLAT Holl turned the Nelson-Atkins inside-out and still played to its strengths. Seems like what the Frick needs.
— Tyler Green (@TylerGreenDC) June 10, 2014
Frick Collection proposes 6-story extension. Current building's intimacy is part of identity. But they do need space http://t.co/9Jn8pgEM3t
— David D. (@dajdro) June 10, 2014
I don’t want the Frick to hire Renzo Piano either, but neo-neo-Classicism doesn’t sit well with me. I guess they hope they won’t get hazed.
— Alexandra Lange (@LangeAlexandra) June 10, 2014
— Liz Farrelly (@lizfarrelly) June 10, 2014