Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
This park is a legacy of industrialist Henry Clay Frick and his daughter Helen. From modest beginnings — he was born to a Mennonite farmer and whiskey distiller in 1849 — Henry Frick became one of America's most influential and wealthy men.
At age 22 he started a company to produce coke for the iron and steel industries of Pittsburgh. In 1882, Frick entered into a two-decade partnership with steel manufacturer Andrew Carnegie, and in 1901 he became a director of the new United States Steel Corporation.
In 1881, Frick married Adelaide Howard Childs. The couple moved into a home, which they named Clayton, in the Point Breeze neighborhood. A decade later, they remodeled the home into a 23-room, four-story French chateau which is now home to the Frick Art & Historical Center. Along the way, they acquired a large area of the nearby woodlands and valley of Nine Mile Run.
Family outings and picnics were the foundation of their children's lifelong bond with nature. Helen and her elder brother Childs grew up exploring the woods of Clayton where Helen (1888-1984) rode
Here is where Childs (1883-1965) developed the love of rocks, plants, and animals, and experimented with photography and taxidermy. After graduating from Princeton University, Childs became a vertebrate paleontologist. Specimens he collected on two African safaris became the foundation of the African mammal collection at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, where he was a lifetime supporter.
At Helen's debut party on December 16, 1908, she asked her father to grant her a single wish — to create a park for the children of Pittsburgh. Frick pledged to give 151 acres upon his death for the creation of a park that would be "devoted particularly to the entertainment of children."
When Frick died 10 years later, he left 80% of his fortune to charity. Not only did he give the land for Frick Park to the City of Pittsburgh, Frick also set up a $2 million endowment to be used for "maintaining, improving, embellishing and adding to the said park and keeping the same in proper condition."
Throughout the years, following their father's bequest, the Frick children continued to play an important role in the park's growth. Helen Frick funded the Nature Museum in the 1930s. A bequest from Childs Frick in 1965 enabled the park to continue offering education programs. And when the original Nature Museum had to be replaced in the 1970s, Helen influenced the decision to build a new Nature Center into the contours of the landscape so that it would be part of the woods. The 2016 Frick Environmental Center honors her vision to provide a place for the people of Pittsburgh to connect with the natural world.
Erected by Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work • Industry & Commerce • Paleontology • Parks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical date for this entry is December 16, 1908.
Location. 40° 26.219′ N, 79° 54.458′ W. Marker is in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in Allegheny County. Marker can be reached from Beechwood Boulevard, 0.1 miles east of Shaw Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1981 Beechwood Blvd, Pittsburgh PA 15217, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Frick Park Today (here, next to this marker); Park Development (here, next to this marker); From Slavery to Freedom Garden (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named From Slavery to Freedom Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to the Frick Woods / Pennsylvania - Forest Land (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Homewood Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsburgh.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 14, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 108 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 14, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.