Frick Park

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Frick Park
Reynolds St. Entrance
Type Municipal Park
Location Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Coordinates 40°25′56″N 79°54′18″W / 40.432314°N 79.904904°W / 40.432314; -79.904904
Area 644 acres (2.61 km2)
Created 1919
Operated by City of Pittsburgh Citiparks, Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

Frick Park is the largest municipal park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, covering 644 acres (2.61 km2). It is one of Pittsburgh's four historic large parks.

The park began when Henry Clay Frick, upon his death in 1919, bequeathed 151 acres (0.61 km2) south of Clayton, his Point Breeze mansion (which is now part of the Frick Art & Historical Center). He also arranged for a $2 million trust fund ($28.2 million today) for long-term maintenance for the park, which opened on June 25, 1927. He did this against his will, but rather acquiesced to his daughter, Helen's debutante wish which he had promised to honor.[1]

Henry Clay Frick's son, Childs Frick, developed his lifelong love of animals in the woods and ravines of the park. Childs Frick went on to be a renowned American vertebrate paleontologist, major benefactor and trustee of the American Museum of Natural History.

Over the years, the park grew from the original land in Point Breeze and now includes Squirrel Hill to the border of Edgewood. In a city that Frick helped to industrialize, it is one of the few areas of steep ravines and mature woods that remain relatively undisturbed, forming a nature reserve of native plants and abundant wildlife. Owls, amphibians, wild turkey, fox, and many mammal species are found in the park.

Frick Environmental Center

In 2002, the original Frick Environmental Center, a 1960s era wooden structure located just inside the park entrance, caught fire and the structure became functionally unusable.[2] Demolition at the site was completed and construction began in late-2014.[3] The current Frick Environmental Center opened to the public on September 10, 2016. It is located at 2005 Beechwood Blvd. on the edge of Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The building is designed to be LEED platinum, and began monitoring for Living Building Challenge in April 2017. The center offers programs about the park's habitats and ecology, including the park's 151-acre Frick Woods Nature Reserve.[4] The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy operates the center in collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh.


The eastern park boundary is Nine Mile Run, a formerly heavily polluted stream which was restored between 2003 and 2006.[5] The addition of 2.2 miles of Nine Mile Run extended Frick Park nearly to the Monongahela River.


In the section of the park located near the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and English Lane, there is a playground with a blue slide going down a steep hill and that playground is therefore known as the blue slide park.

Sledding on this hill is a popular winter pastime for some people who live nearby. The hill's long, sloping bowl ends in a grouping of trees. Two different approaches down the hill – one shallow and one steep – intersect at the bottom, occasionally resulting in collisions between sledders. Crashing into trees is also an occasional occurrence. As a result, the city posted "no sledding" signs for liability reasons.[6]

In popular culture

Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller's album Blue Slide Park, the first indie top of the charts recording in a quarter of a century, is named for the park playground. The song Frick Park Market is likewise named for a small store near the Point Breeze park boundary.


  1. ^ Frick Park Clay Court Tennis Club history
  2. ^ "Fire guts Frick Park's environmental center". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  3. ^ "Construction underway on Frick Environmental Center". NEXTpittsburgh. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  4. ^ Conservancy, Pittsburgh Parks. "Frick Environmental Center | About the Building | Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  5. ^ "National Model of Restoration: Nine Mile Run | University of Pittsburgh News". Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  6. ^ City tries to put the skids on sledding in Frick Park, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 13, 2010

External links

  • Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
  • Pittsburgh Dept. of Parks & Recreation website
  • Frick Park Clay Court Tennis Club history
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