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Pittsburgh's Frick Art & Historical Center announces new Orientation Center opening
New Frick Orientation Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

PITTSBURGH, PA.- The Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze announces a weekend of free, family-friendly activities to mark the public opening of the new Orientation Center and Frick Museum Store on July 19–20, 2014. A wide range of activities will be offered on Saturday and Sunday, during the Frick's public hours of 10:00 a.m. ¬– 5:00 p.m., including free tours of Clayton for all visitors, meet-the-architects sessions, design talks, an artist talk, and free gallery talks and docent tours of the exhibition, Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist—Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle at The Frick Art Museum.

In addition to experiencing the Frick's new Orientation Center, visitors will have the opportunity be among the first to shop for distinctive items at the new Frick Museum Store. Frick members will receive a 15% and a free gift with their purchase at the new Frick Museum Store. (Offer valid July 19–20 only, and limited to one redemption per member.)

The Frick Art & Historical Center is anchored by The Frick Art Museum and Clayton, the Point Breeze home of industrialist Henry Clay Frick and his family and the legacy of Mr. Frick's daughter, philanthropist Helen Clay Frick. In 2013, a $15 million, multi-phase expansion and renovation project was developed to unite the Frick's various components and maximize its potential to educate, enlighten and serve its diverse audiences. In addition to the new Orientation Center, the project will create a new Education Center, expand and improve the Frick's collection storage facilities and provide additional space for community events. The expansion project will allow the Frick to expand its cultural offerings and foster the Frick’s role as an anchor for and magnet to its neighboring communities in the East End.

The opening of the Orientation Center marks the completion of the first phase of the current expansion project. The Orientation Center incorporates educational technology that enables visitors to learn about the Frick family and life in Pittsburgh at the end of the 19th century. The Orientation Center also includes the new Frick Museum Store.

A 3,000 square-foot building, the Orientation Center is located in the center of the Frick’s 5.5- acre campus, between the Car and Carriage Museum and The Café at the Frick. Façades composed of low-iron, high-transparency glass and Pennsylvania sandstone integrate the new building into the existing landscape. Inside, a wood ceiling is suspended by glass walls at heights ranging from 12–18 feet, opening up views of the Frick grounds and helping orient visitors to the site. A 30-foot-long skylight, on axis with the entrance, provides additional natural lighting. A porcelain tile floor laid in a herringbone pattern, recalls decorative elements at Clayton.

To enhance the Frick's environmental sustainability, all Frick expansion project phases adhere to LEED standards. The glass design of the Orientation Center provides a visual connection to the Frick’s park-like setting, and enhances the “green” character of the facility through the use of natural daylight. An exterior sun louver system reduces heat-gain and energy consumption required for cooling. Building materials were selected based on recycled and Low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) content and, where possible, have been harvested and manufactured within 500 miles of Pittsburgh.

Careful consideration was given to landscaping, including native species plantings and water treatment. A new courtyard, adjacent to the Orientation Center, transformed an existing asphalt plaza into usable green space, featuring a grassy area. The courtyard will provide supplemental outdoor space for education programs and serve as a gathering area for school groups and visitors.

The second phase of the expansion project calls for a new Education Center that will be housed in a renovated facility (the current Carriage Gallery of the Car and Carriage Museum). In addition, a new Carriage Gallery—constructed behind and integrated with the existing Car Gallery—will allow the Frick to better exhibit its important collection of Frick family carriages. This facility will also include climate-controlled, secure and readily accessible storage for the Frick’s varied collections. In the third phase of the project, the Frick will construct a new Community Center that will provide additional education and program space and create a venue for rental events. When completed, this plan will join together the multiple components of the Frick, support the enhancement and expansion of its educational offerings and enrich the experience of more than 125,000 annual visitors.

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