Darwin D. Martin
House Complex - Table of Contents
Darwin D. Martin House Complex
285 Woodward Ave., Buffalo, NY
Frank Lloyd Wrigh Style:
Prairie style 2018 owners: Martin House Restoration Corp
The 1905 Gardener's Cottage was an integral part of the Darwin D. Martin estate complex. Originally, there were six buildings on the estate: the main house, the Barton House (built for Martin's sister, Delta, and her husband, George), the gardener's cottage, a two-story garage and stable, a greenhouse, and a conservatory connected to the main house by a long pergola. This is where Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie style reached its fullest expression.Illusion operates inside the cottage as well. The living room extends across the entire front of the house, gathering light and a sense of spaciousness from a sequence of windows on three sides. A fireplace suggests a fourth wall but allows space to extend deeper into the house on either side.
The gardener of this wood-and stucco cottage was Reuben Polder, who had to provide fresh flowers daily for every room in the main house, a task which he assiduously accomplished until his employer died in 1935.
Frank Lloyd Wright strove to open up the confining "box" of traditional American houses in his prairie house designs, but the gardener's cottage, made of wood and stucco, was so modest in size that a boxy configuration appears to have been inevitable. Nevertheless, Wright managed to create an illusion of the pier and cantilever principle that characterized the Martin house by placing tall rectangular panels (or pseudo-piers) at each corner of the building.
The other two houses that Wright designed in Buffalo are the William R. Heath House and the Walter D. Davidson House. He also designed Graycliff, the Martin summer house in nearby Derby, NY. Wright's factory building for the Larkin Soap Co., to Buffalo's shame, was demolished in 1950.
- "Buffalo Architecture: A Guide." Cambridge: MIT Press, 1981
- Classic Buffalo: A Heritage of Distinguished Architecture, by Richard O. Reisem
Prairie style ... Two stories ... Stucco exterior ... Ribbon windows with Art glass windows were specially designed for this house by Frank Lloyd Wright ... 2-story high rectangular piers ... The planter is an important feature in Wright's attempt to combine nature and interior spaces
Prairie style feature: wide soffit under widely projecting eaves ... Casement window with art glass windows designed specifically for this house by Frank Lloyd Wright
Casement ribbon windows with art glass windows
The first story planter is an important feature in Wright's attempt to combine nature and interior spaces
Private, side entrance - typical Wright
North (left of building) side casement ribbon windows
Side and rear of house as seen from the Martin House Complex. ... Sympathetic wing to the right is not original ... Note the date (2008) of this photo, six years later than the photo above
Rear of house as seen from the Martin House Complex .... Sympathetic wing at rear is not original.
Dining room and living room ... Art glass windows were specially designed for this house by Frank Lloyd Wright
Dining room has period-appropriate Mission style furniture
Living room as seen from the dining room
Living room features Art glass windows that were specially designed for this house by Frank Lloyd Wright ... Period-appropriate (but not original to the house) Mission style furniture
Period-appropriate (but not original to the house) Mission style furniture
Living room features Art glass windows that were specially designed for this house