October 25, 2006

Darwin D. Martin Complex

While in transit to Erie, Pennsylvania on a business trip I was able to take an afternoon in Buffalo to tour the Darwin Martin Complex and visit some other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the area. You can learn more about the Darwin Martin Complex at the official web site.
View of the Martin Complex under construction.
The Darwin Martin Complex consists of four buildings in addition to the George Barton Residence. The Martin house is being restored and the Pergola, Conservatory, and Carriage House/Stable are being rebuilt as they had been demolished. As Sandy, our tour guide noted, these are the only Frank Lloyd Wright buildings that have been rebuilt (vs. being restored.) The total effort is costing $35 million!
The following photograph shows the "martin houses" on top of the Conservatory. A taste of Wright's sense of humor.
The 'Martin Houses' on top of the Conservatory.
The front door is hidden between the two left urns.
The Martin house.
In the next photograph, notice the gutters that follow the prarie style horizontal line. There are no downspouts, but instead there are catch basins on the ground. You can also see some of the art glass windows.
Horizontal gutters and art glass windows.
Catch basin for gutters.
Restoration information board.
The next photograph is of a decal in a window to indicate what will be there eventually as the building is restored. There are examples inside the building where this is done (wallpaper) including the glass mosaic around the hearth. This will be a magnificant building to tour when it is completed, but it is fascinating to see the restoration process underway too.
Decal art glass -- not the real thing.
This is an art glass window ("tree of life" pattern) on the upper story.
A real art glass window on the upper story.
Compare the urns in the following photograph with the nearby William Heath Residence.
Urns and concrete that needs repairing.
Windows, gutters, Ginko tree.
Wanted a place to slip this in: Buffalo viewed from the south shore of Lake Erie.
Buffalo as viewed from the southern shore of Lake Erie.

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