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Author/Artist Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Title One East 70th Street Papers 1907 - 1931.
Description 12.8 linear feet (27 boxes)
Arrangement Materials are arranged in the following series: I. Construction Contracts, 1912-1917, II. Construction Notes and Correspondence, 1912-1918, III. Construction Special Orders, 1913-1915, IV. Construction Vouchers, 1912-1914, V. Furnishings, 1914-1924 and undated, VI. Financial Records, 1907-1918, VII. Post-Construction and Estate Matters, 1914-1924, and VIII. Daily Life, 1914-1931 and undated.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  HCFF.7    AVAILABLE BY APPT
Access restrictions These records are open for research by appointment under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Access Policy. For all inquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Archives Department at
Summary These papers, dating from 1907-1931, chiefly document the construction and furnishing of Henry Clay Frick's New York residence at One East 70th Street, and encompass the period from Frick's acquisition of the property through the death of his widow in 1931. Materials include contracts, construction specifications, correspondence, architect's certificates, accounts payable vouchers, account books, financial records, and inventories, as well as documentation of activities at the house after its construction, additions to the building, and maintenance and improvement of the property.
Series I through IV in this collection directly concern the construction of One East 70th Street. These papers give insight into the bidding and awarding of contracts, construction progress, auditing of accounts, and billing disputes. Correspondence of architect Thomas Hastings and his firm, Carrère and Hastings, construction superintendent D.B. Kinch, and Frick secretary F.W. McElroy appear frequently in these papers. Series V documents furnishings for the house, including carpets, draperies, furniture and decorative arts, wall coverings, light fixtures, and mantelpieces. Files of Elsie de Wolfe and White, Allom & Co. comprise the bulk of this series, although purchases from Duveen Brothers, E.R. Bacon, Jacques Seligmann, and others are documented as well.
The last two series (VII and VIII) are devoted to postconstruction and estate matters, staffing, and family activities. They include inventories, additions such as the proposed sculpture gallery and Frick Art Reference Library, volumes documenting payroll, employee service, and household expenditures, and daily diaries of household events.
Biographical/historical note Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was a prominent industrialist and art collector who made his fortune in the coal, coke, steel, and railroad industries. Frick and his wife, Adelaide H.C. Frick, owned homes in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Prides Crossing, Mass., and leased the Vanderbilt mansion at 640 Fifth Avenue , New York, N.Y., from 1905-1914. In 1906, Frick began to make plans for the construction of his own New York residence by purchasing land at the corner of 70th Street and Fifth Avenue. Plans for the house, designed by Thomas Hastings of the firm Carrère & Hastings, were finalized in 1912, and construction began in 1913. The house's principal rooms on the first floor were decorated by Charles Allom of White, Allom & Co., while Elsie de Wolfe decorated most of the family's private rooms on the upper floors. Frick and his family began occupying the house in November 1914.
In the mid-1910s, Frick had the opportunity to acquire objects from the estate of J.P. Morgan, through the art dealer Joseph Duveen. Frick purchased furniture and decorative arts, as well as a series of 18th century French panels by Fragonard. The house's first floor Drawing Room was then renovated to accomodate the panels. With the exception of the Fragonard Room, the house remained essentially unchanged from the time of its construction until the death of Adelaide H.C. Frick in 1931. At that time, according to the terms of Frick's will, the house was converted into a museum. It opened to the public as The Frick Collection in 1935.
Cite as One East 70th Street Papers. The Frick Collection / Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Source of acquisition Gift of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, 2015.
Related collections Additional materials regarding the furnishing of One East 70th Street can be found in the Henry Clay Frick Furnishings Files in this repository.
Finding aids Available online and in repository.
Provenance These files form part of the Frick Family Papers of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation Archives on deposit at The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library. They were received from the Frick Art and Historical Center, Pittsburgh, Pa., in 2001.
Other subject Allom, Charles, 1865-1947.
LC subject De Wolfe, Elsie, 1865-1950.
Duveen, Joseph Duveen, Baron, 1869-1939.
Frick, Adelaide Howard Childs, 1859-1931 -- Homes and haunts -- New York (State) -- New York.
Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984 -- Homes and haunts -- New York (State) -- New York.
Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919 -- Homes and haunts -- New York (State) -- New York.
Hastings, Thomas, 1860-1929.
Other subject Kinch, D.B.
LC subject Carrère & Hastings.
Duveen Brothers.
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York.
Decorative arts -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York.
Mansions -- New York (State) -- New York.
Genre/Form Correspondence.
Financial records.
Letterpress copybooks.
WorldCat no. 714120581

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