The Frick residence was constructed in 1914 according to the architectural design of Thomas Hastings of Carrère and Hastings. Its major ground floor rooms (the museum’s galleries today) and the second-floor family living quarters had as their principal views an elevated set-back garden on Fifth Avenue, which featured a grand lawn, limestone steps, neoclassical urns, and Mediterranean-style mosaic paths to set off plantings. These west-facing rooms also faced Manhattan’s largest public garden, Central Park, located immediately across the street.
Fifth Avenue Garden
As a result of a decision of the Board of Trustees in 1939, three magnolias were selected for the Fifth Avenue garden. The two trees on the lower tier are Saucer Magnolias (Magnolia soulangeana) and the species on the upper tier by the flagpole is a Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata). Considered to be some of the largest in the New York area, and certainly the most grand in the setting in which they are displayed, they maintain their balance by yearly pruning, which sustains their sprawling shape in proportion to the long limestone facade of The Frick Collection.