Frick Building

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Frick Building
FrickBuildingPittsburgh.jpg
View of the Frick Building along Grant Street
General information
TypeOffice
Location437 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°26′21″N 79°59′51″W / 40.43917°N 79.99750°W / 40.43917; -79.99750Coordinates: 40°26′21″N 79°59′51″W / 40.43917°N 79.99750°W / 40.43917; -79.99750
Construction started1901
CompletedMarch 15, 1902
OpeningMarch 15, 1902
Cost$2 million ($56.1 million today)
Height
Roof330 ft (101 m)
Technical details
Floor count20
Floor area357,474 sq ft (33,210 m2)
Lifts/elevators10
Design and construction
ArchitectD. H. Burnham & Company
DeveloperHenry Clay Frick
Main contractorGeorge A. Fuller Company
 
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Frick Building
FrickBuildingPittsburgh.jpg
View of the Frick Building along Grant Street
General information
TypeOffice
Location437 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinates40°26′21″N 79°59′51″W / 40.43917°N 79.99750°W / 40.43917; -79.99750Coordinates: 40°26′21″N 79°59′51″W / 40.43917°N 79.99750°W / 40.43917; -79.99750
Construction started1901
CompletedMarch 15, 1902
OpeningMarch 15, 1902
Cost$2 million ($56.1 million today)
Height
Roof330 ft (101 m)
Technical details
Floor count20
Floor area357,474 sq ft (33,210 m2)
Lifts/elevators10
Design and construction
ArchitectD. H. Burnham & Company
DeveloperHenry Clay Frick
Main contractorGeorge A. Fuller Company

The Frick Building is one of the major distinctive and recognizable features of Downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The tower was built by and is named for Henry Clay Frick, an industrialist coke producer who created a portfolio of commercial buildings in Pittsburgh. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The tower was built directly adjacent to a building owned by his business partner and rival Andrew Carnegie, on the site of Saint Peter Episcopal Church. Frick, who feuded with Carnegie after they split as business associates, had the building designed to be taller than Carnegie's in order to encompass it in constant shadow.[1]

The Frick Building was opened on March 15, 1902 and originally had twenty floors. It was the tallest building in the city at that time.[2] A leveling of the surrounding landscape that was completed in 1912 caused the basement to become the entrance, so some sources credit the building with twenty-one stories. It rises 330 feet (101 m) above Downtown Pittsburgh. Its address is 437 Grant Street, and is also accessible from Forbes and Fifth Avenues.

The building's architect was Daniel H. Burnham of D.H. Burnham & Company, Chicago.[3]

The top floor includes a balcony around the perimeter of the building, a high, handcrafted ceiling, and heavy, elaborate brass door fixtures. Originally, H.C. Frick used it as his personal office and as a meeting place and social club for wealthy industrialists. On the 19th floor was Frick's personal shower. At the time, no other shower had been built that high above ground level, because water could not easily be pumped that high with the technology of the time. The shower, non-functioning, still exists on the 19th floor today. The 20th and part of the 19th floors are now used as offices for Carnegie Learning.

Fittingly for a building created for a man who vowed to be a millionaire by age thirty, the lobby features an elegant stained-glass window by John LaFarge, depicting "Fortune and Her Wheel" (1902).[4] The two bronze sentinel lions (1904) in the lobby were created by sculptor Alexander Proctor. A bust of Frick by sculptor Malvina Hoffman (1923) is displayed in the rear lobby, which extends from Forbes to Fifth Avenue.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The World's Work: A History of Our Time", Volume 14, by Walter Hines Page & Arthur Wilson Page, page 8856.
  2. ^ "The Spectator and the Topographical City", by Martin Aurand, page 38.
  3. ^ City of Pittsburgh website.
  4. ^ Emporis Corporation description of the Frick Building.
  5. ^ City of Pittsburgh website.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Four Gateway Center
Pittsburgh Skyscrapers by Height
330 feet (101 m)
20 floors
Succeeded by
Wyndham Grand
Preceded by
Farmers Bank Building
Pittsburgh Skyscrapers by Year of Completion
1902
Succeeded by
The Carlyle