Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex, Cultural Landscape Report


Located within a late-19thth century garden suburb of Buffalo, New York, at the eastern edge of the Frederick Law Olmsted Sr.-designed Delaware Park, is an arrangement of unique residential buildings and structures that served as the home of Darwin D and Isabelle R. Martin and their family. Known as the Darwin D. Martin House (or the Martin House Complex), the ‘Prairie Style’ architecture and multiple building complex was designed and constructed between 1903 and 1905 by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The composition is considered the most significant marriage of landscape, interior design and architecture of the famed architect’s career.

The landscape was more-or-less obliterated by years of neglect, undocumented modification and architectural restoration construction activities. The historic property is currently owned by the not-for-profit Martin House Restoration Corporation (MHRC) and functions as a house-museum open for public tours year-round. The mission of the MHRC organization is to preserve, interpret and promote the architectural work and ultimately restore the landscape to its accurate historic condition.

Using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, Bayer Landscape Architecture developed a comprehensive Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) of the Darwin D. Martin House Complex. Bayer performed exhaustive and rigorous primary historic research, a thorough analysis of existing conditions, and prepared a formal evaluation on the property’s historic significance. The result is a complete historic narrative and a detailed background context of the owner, design and designers that make this landscape one of the most significant of Wright’s long career. Bayer also developed a detailed Treatment Plan that will guide future physical implementation of the rehabilitation.

 

Buffalo, New York
2014

Cultural Landscape Research, Historic Landscape Documentation, Significance Determination, Stakeholder Workshops, Preservation Treatment Plan

 

2015 Honor Award of Excellence
Historic Preservation

American Society of Landscape Architect's, New York Upstate Chapter