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The Frick Plans to Build 42K-Sq.-Ft. Addition with Rooftop Garden

UPPER EAST SIDE — The Frick Collection is hoping to expand its Fifth Avenue home with an addition that will include more gallery space, a larger entrance hall and a rooftop garden for visitors.

The museum and library, between 70th and 71st streets, announced Tuesday that it plans to build a 42,000-square-foot addition on the southern edge of the property. The addition will house gallery space for special exhibitions, an expanded entry hall, a 220-seat auditorium and a rooftop garden for visitors. The Frick will also open several areas of the building’s second floor to the public for the first time.

“To improve service to our audiences, we wish to make an already great institution even better,” said Margot Bogert, chairwoman of the Frick Board of Trustees, in a statement. “We occupy a structure and property that has evolved numerous times since the passing of Henry Clay Frick in 1919, with each occurrence conceived to better meet the needs of the institution and its public."

Because the Frick is a landmarked building, the museum must seek permission from the city before beginning construction, a process it has not yet started, officials noted.

The Frick, a neoclassical building designed by renowned architecture firm Carrere and Hastings, was built in 1914 for steel industrialist Henry Clay Frick and his family. It has been a library and museum for almost 80 years.

The collection includes works by Goya, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir and Vermeer, among others.

Since it was built, the Frick has undergone several renovations and expansions to account for the growing collection.

The museum, which added space in 2011 by transforming an exterior corridor into a gallery, said it is expanding in response to strong public demand. The additional gallery space will allow the Frick to host special exhibitions while keeping more of its permanent collection on display, officials said. The new classrooms and auditorium will provide space for more educational programming, while expanded entrance hall with ramp and elevator access will reduce the time visitors spend waiting outside, accoding to the museum.

Davis Brody Bond, the architecture firm that designed the September 11th Memorial Museum and the Frick’s 2011 gallery addition, is overseeing the project.

They hope to begin construction in the spring of 2017 and complete it as early as 2020, with the museum and library remaining open throughout the process.