The Darwin D. Martin House Complex, also known as the Darwin Martin House National Historic Landmark, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built between 1903 and 1905. Located at 125 Jewett Parkway in Buffalo, New York, it is considered one of the essential critical projects from Wright’s Prairie School era. It ranks along with The Guggenheim in New York City and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania among his most significant works. Wright scholar Robert McCarter said of it: It can be argued that the Martin House Complex … is the most crucial house design of the first half of Wright’s career, matched only by Fallingwater over 30 years later.
The Martin House Complex was occupied by businessman Darwin D. Martin, his wife and family, his sister Delta and her husband George F. Barton. Martin and his brother, William E. Martin, were co-owners of the E-Z Stove Polish Company based in Chicago. In 1902 William commissioned Wright to build him a home in Oak Park; the resultant William E. Martin House was built in 1903. Upon viewing his brother’s home, Darwin Martin was significantly impressed to visit Wright’s Studio and persuaded Wright to view his property in Buffalo, where he planned to build two houses.
In 1904, Martin was instrumental in selecting Wright as the architect for the Larkin Administration Building in downtown Buffalo, which was Wright’s first major commercial project. Martin was the secretary of the Larkin Soap Company, and consequently, Wright designed houses for other Larkin employees, William R. Heath and Walter V. Davidson. Wright also designed the E-Z Stove Polish Company’s Factory built in 1905.
Wright designed the complex as an integrated composition of connecting buildings, consisting of the primary structure, the Martin House, a long pergola connecting with a conservatory, a carriage house-stable, and a smaller residence, the Barton House, built for George F. Barton and his wife Delta, Martin’s sister. The complex also includes a gardener’s cottage, the last building completed. Bed Bug Exterminator Buffalo
The Martin House
Built between 1902 and 1905, the Martin House is distinguished from Wright’s other prairie-style houses by its vast size and open plan. On the ground floor, an entrance hall bisects the cabin. Behind a sizeable double-sided hearth is a central living room to the right. The room is flanked by a dining room and library, creating a long continuous space. The other axis, centered on the hearth, continues the living room to a large covered veranda. To the left of the entry, the is a reception room similar in size to the living room, the kitchen, and several smaller rooms. A separate mass provides a reception room hearth and one to the above level. The wing completes with a porte-cochère balancing the veranda. Above the entry hall, stairs wrap a small covered light well opening to the second floor. This floor provides eight bedrooms, four bathrooms, and a sewing room. The entry hall continues on the axis to the pergola and conservatory beyond.
Address: 125 Jewett Pkwy, Buffalo, NY
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