The Frick Art & Historical Center is open to the public thanks to the generosity of Helen Clay Frick, daughter of Henry Clay Frick. When the Frick family moved to New York in 1905, Helen remained attached to Clayton, her Pittsburgh home. Her long-time wish was for Clayton and the surrounding estate to be preserved and opened to the public after her death.
In 1970, Helen had The Frick Art Museum constructed to allow public enjoyment of her art collection. Miss Frick returned to Pittsburgh in 1981 and lived at Clayton until her death in 1984. Although Miss Frick had carefully maintained Clayton, complete restoration of the home prior to opening it as a house museum was a four-year project. Open to the public in 1990, Clayton now welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year and provides them with an intimate glimpse into the life of the Frick family a century ago.
The Center has continued to grow in the years following Clayton’s opening. In 1994, The Café at The Frick opened, offering both award-winning cuisine and a panoramic view of the grounds. The Car and Carriage Museum, built in 1997, expanded the original Carriage Museum which housed the Frick family’s vehicles. The Car and Carriage Museum presents not only the Frick family’s personal collection of cars and carriages, but also interweaves the history of the automobile with that of western Pennsylvania’s early auto enthusiasts and manufacturers. It also contains many vehicles from the collection of Pittsburgh industrialist G. Whitney Snyder.