Digitization of the Records of the Construction and Furnishing of 1 East 70th Street, businessman and art collector Henry Clay Frick's New York City mansion, 1907-1920

Material Description

The records to be digitized come from two archival collections in The Frick Collection archives. The larger series, the 1 East 70th Street Papers, 1907-1931, is part of a large manuscript gift from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation (c. 1200 linear feet) which was received on deposit at The Frick Collection in 2001 and was donated to the Collection in 2015. A smaller series of institutional archival records (1 linear foot), Henry Clay Frick Furnishings Files, 1913-1920, will be integrated with the 1 East 70th Street Papers for purposes of digitization. A select number of architectural plans and renderings will also be included. The records include correspondence and memoranda to and from Henry Clay Frick,his representatives and architects (Thomas Hastings, Daniel Burnham), interior designers (Elsie de Wolfe, Sir Charles Allom of White Allom & Co.), general contractor (Cauldwell-Wingate Co.), local artisans, manufacturers and businesses (Samuel Yellin, Edward F. Caldwell & Co.). There are also daily diaries documenting the day to day operations of the house as well as staff records providing a detailed look at daily operations in one of the most imposing and elegant Gilded Age mansions in New York City. The records encompass the building and furnishing of 1 East 70th Street starting in 1907 with the acquisition of the property at Fifth Avenue and 70th Street. Once the house was completed, in November, 2014, the Frick family moved in and the records also document continued decorating, construction and entertaining there until Mr. Frick's death in 1919 and the death of his wife, Adelaide Childs Frick, in 1931.


To digitize and make available through The Frick Collection's digital collections portal approximately fifteen linear of records related to the construction and furnishing of the 1 East 70th Street residence of businessman and art collector, Henry Clay Frick, c.1907-1931. The mansion is now home to The Frick Collection, a New York City landmark and renowned repository of painting and sculpture masterpieces and decorative arts and furniture. The records, housed in the archives of the Frick Collection, include contracts, correspondence, memoranda and financial records concerning Frick's acquisition of the property (site of the Lenox Library), negotiations with architects (Thomas Hastings of Carrere & Hastings), contracts with many building concerns and artisans as well as transactions with the interior designers Elsie de Wolfe and White & Allom.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded


Year Added



The Frick Collection


  • Ms. Sally Brazil (The Frick Collection )
  • Ms. Genevra LeVoci

Date Range

1907 - 1931

Geographic Scope

The materials to be digitized concern people and businesses in New York City and surrounding areas, as well as people and businesses located in Pennsylvania (primarily Pittsburgh), Paris, France and London, England.


  • 15 Mixed Archival Collections