June 3, 2017
the martin house
This was my first time in a Frank Lloyd Wright prairie-house. The Darwin D. Martin house in Buffalo was a wonderful surprise. It actually works as a house – unlike Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. The kitchen in the Martin house is functional, spacious and beautiful. (I kept thinking of the octagonal, claustrophobic kitchen in Kentuck Knob. This was nothing like it.)
I could actually see myself sitting in any of the first-floor rooms of the Martin House. I can never picture myself in any of the overwhelming spaces of Fallingwater or Kentuck Knob. Do I want to sit on the step going down to the stream at Fallingwater? Absolutely! Do I wanna have dinner at Fallingwater? Absolutely not! Would I like to sit in the library at the Martin House? Absolutely!
The Martin House has been greatly restored – much of the original complex was left to the elements or torn down and only through the efforts of the Martin House Restoration Corporation have the property and the structures been brought back to life. The corporation used photos taken in 1907 as their blueprints for the extensive restoration. For example in the space between the main house and the carriage house, Wright designed an amazing pergola – breeze-way – to connect the two buildings. After Mrs. Martin abandoned the house, because she could no longer maintain it, the space between the main-house and the carriage-house was sold to developers who took down Wright’s pergola and put two five-story apartment building in the space.
The above photo is of the pergola.
This is the first entry for the June trip to Toronto and Sault Ste Marie.