Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Opulence in an NYC Home

The simple wood entry understates the opulence within.  It's almost like a magical door that hides a treasure  trove.  At One East 70th Street, the Frick House is a portal back in time.  Everything remains as if Henry Clay Frick still walks through the halls on his way out to a steel-tycoon meeting.  

The Garden Court has a frosted glass ceiling that filters natural sunlight into a ethereal glow, roman pillars surround the space, and stone benches sit around a long fountain with frogs streaming water from their mouths.  And this is just one room.  The music room, dining room, oval room, and west and east galleries are adorned with priceless works of art--objects that Frick and his wife collected with (you know) their spare millions.  Inside, there are works by Goya and Degas and three (3!) Vermeers.

My favorites:

The Fragonard Room has regal wall paintings, framed in gold.   Sculptures, bronze works, and gilded pieces decorate the fireplace, totaling $5 million at the time of purchase.  This is a showcase room, a place where Frick had to have smirked, thinking: it's good to be the king...

The Boucher Room is feminine and lavish.  Everything preserved as it was meant to be: a lady's drawing room where Mrs. Frick could spend her evenings among chairs, desks, and paintings all crafted in France during the 1700's.  Maybe it was good to be queen too...

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