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Preserving Frick Park, A Sight to Behold that Should be Saved

It started with Clay; then the soothing chirps of birds and the hum of bees that gave the gardens a voice. Next came the striking beauty of the sun creeping between trees, giving life to hundreds of species of birds. A mansion was born, then a park and a museum: The Frick Park. The significance of Frick Park dates to 1919 when the owner, Henry Clay Frick bequeathed the land to the city of Pittsburgh upon his death. His gift included 151 acres of land and later, more land was acquired, making it a total of 644 acres. This makes it the largest park in Pittsburgh. The park was opened to the public in 1927 after a long process of transformation. The magnificent Frick Park should therefore be preserved because its sentimentality runs deep, it is an important tool in teaching historical heritage and nature and most importantly, the tranquility and exquisite nature of the park is incomparable.


One reason Frick Park should be preserved is that the sentimentality associated with Frick park runs too deep to be destroyed. The park was a gift to the city by Henry Clay at the request of his daughter, Helen Clay Frick. It is said that an apple does not fall far from the tree, and so Helen’s love for art became evident at an early age. She became an art collector, and her passion led her to establishing the Frick Art Reference Library. Furthermore, Frick Park holds the memory of a family, a symbol of love, a gift of love. The museum, for instance, showcases a range of personal collections of fine art, painting and furniture of the Clayton’s family. Lastly, it is the largest historical regional park in Pittsburgh. The one-of-a-kind park runs for 644 acres through valleys, woodlands while hosting a diversity of wildlife like birds and squirrels. Some critics ask what is the point of using money to restore an ancient site? What they fail to realize is that preserving historic sites like Frick park maintains the intrinsic value of a city and this uniqueness attracts tourists who in turn bring in revenue.

Another very important reason is that Frick Park is an important tool in teaching historic heritage and nature. The Frick Park Museum has outstanding examples of fine and decorative art from the early Renaissance period. This includes French art of the 18th century. One fine portrait is called “Mrs Peacock” that was painted by Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta in New York in 1902. Madrazo was a renowned artist who was known for his confident strokes, especially in painting potraits of women. In 1902, one critic said, “The portraits of Señor de Madrazo are moving breathing thing[s]—the eyes sparkle, the pose is always seemingly relaxing, never stiff and ungraceful.” Secondly, this is a home to an estimated hundred species of birds that students can learn about. Some of them include; Flickers, Hawks, Sparrows, Kinglet, and Carolina Chickadees, that often line up on powerlines. Thirdly, Frick Park is dominated by extensive trails that run through wooded slopes, valley slopes, creeks and a river pass through it. This is a habitat for native plants and animals. It is true indeed that this park oozes life.


However, the most compelling reason why Frick Park should be preserved is that the tranquility and exquisite nature of the park is incomparable to any in the region. To begin with, the park is an ideal escape from the noise of the city. It is located on the East End of Pittsburgh and has extensive trails for activities such as cycling. On the contrary, critics say that contemporary buildings are more appealing than old ones and are more expensive to renovate. However, historic preservation is a key factor in urban planning because it enables cities to retain their historic buildings. It maintains the city’s culture and complexity. In addition, it is the utopia on earth for bird enthusiasts. Bird lovers can visit and marvel at the various birds in the vicinity. Lastly, it has the only public lawn bowling green in Pennsylvania and has courts for other games such as tennis. Lawn bowling green is a unique kind of bowling done in a ‘perfect’ grass, where a bigger ball is rolled towards a smaller one.


In a nutshell, Frick Park is the home of art, history and nature that should be held dearly. From the historic Clayton’s mansion, to the Frick Art Museum, car and carriage expedition and the scenic landscape Frick park should be retained for future generations. At the end of the day your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling; an experience you only get in a park.


References:


inaturalist. (2019, 2 28). Retrieved from Checklist of Birds of Frick Park : https://www.inaturalist.org/guides/326

the frick pittsburgh. (2019, 2 28). Retrieved from Meet Raimundo de Madrazo: https://www.thefrickpittsburgh.org/Story-Meet-Raimundo-de-Madrazo

thoughtco. (2019, 2 28). Retrieved from An Overview of Historic Preservation : https://www.thoughtco.com/historic-preservation-and-urban-planning-1435784

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