Archival Collections
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

Frederick G. Frost & Associates architectural records and papers, 1910-1982 

Creator: 
Frost, Frederick G,
Phys. Desc: 
31 document boxes; 6 print boxes; 3 boxes (card storage-file boxes); 1 album
Location: 
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
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Online information

Biographical Note

Frederick G. Frost was born in London, England, in 1876, and emigrated to the United States in 1892. He studied architecture at the Atelier Masquery in New York and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1900 to 1902. Upon his return from Paris, he began work in the New York City office of architects Samuel Beck Parkman Trowbridge and Goodhue Livingston as a designer and office manager. While with Trowbridge & Livingston, Frost oversaw the design and construction of the B. Altman department store in Manhattan. Frost opened his own architecture practice in New York City in 1917 and was joined by his son, Frederick G., Jr., in 1936, and grandson, A. Corwin Frost, in 1963. The firm closed in 1978. Through more than six decades of practice, the firm designed hundreds of buildings for commercial, institutional, and residential clients. They were perhaps best known for the Friedsam Residence, the Martin Luther King, Jr., High School, the Graduate Faculty Center at the New School for Social Research, P.S. #36/The Morningside School, and the Seward Park Houses, all in Manhattan; the Queensbridge Houses in Queens; the Sams Residence in New Rochelle, N.Y.; various buildings for the New York School for the Deaf; and for St. John's Hospital, in Smithtown, N.Y. Additionally, Socony-Vacuum Oil Company (later Mobil Oil) hired the firm to design a standardized gas station and other company structures for United States and South American sites and Frost was retained as their corporate design consultant in the 1930s and 1940s. Residential projects by the Frost firms are particularly strong in the communities of New Rochelle and Bronxville, New York, where both Frederick G. and Frederick G., Jr. maintained their own residences. The Frosts also designed several projects for filmmaker and theatre director Elia Kazan. Frederick Frost, Sr., retired from the practice in 1955 and the firm was renamed Frederick G. Frost, Jr. & Associates. Frost was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1942 and was active in both civic and professional organizations throughout his life. Frost died in 1966. Frederick G., Jr., earned an A.B. in architecture from Princeton in 1930 and an M.F.A. from Yale in 1932, and practiced with his father from 1936 until he retired in 1968, when his son, A. Corwin Frost, took over the firm's leadership. Frederick, Jr., also active in professional and civic organizations, died in 1991.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes original and reprographic architectural drawings, photographs, office files, and professional papers related to the work of New York architect Frederick G. Frost, his son Frederick G., Jr., and his grandson, A. Corwin Frost. Examples of the work of Trowbridge & Livingston are also included. Projects represented include residential, commercial, institutional, and govermental buildings, primarily in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Project records are divided by material type (drawings, photographs, files and specifications). Each subseries begins with projects in the United States, followed by projects in foreign countires, and project with no location listed at the end. For projects in the U.S., folders are arranged in alphabetical order by state, and there under by city. However, cities with greater number of projects, e.g., New York City, are filed before other cities. Given the large number of projects in New York City, these files were subdivided by borough.