Darwin D. Martin House Complex - Table of Contents

Gardener's Cottage
Darwin D. Martin House Complex
285 Woodward Ave., Buffalo, NY

Built:
1905
Architect:
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.

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.

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 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.

Sources:




Exterior


2002 photo.
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



2002 photo.
Prairie style feature: wide soffit under widely projecting eaves   ...   Casement window with art glass windows designed specifically for this house by Frank Lloyd Wright



2002 photo.
 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



2002 photo.



2002 photo.
Private, side entrance - typical Wright



2002 photo.
North (left of building) side casement  ribbon windows






2008 photo.
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



2008 photo.
Rear of house as seen from the Martin House Complex   ....    Sympathetic wing at rear is not original.




Interior


2008 photo.
Dining room and living room   ...   Art glass windows were specially designed for this house by Frank Lloyd Wright




2008 photo.
Dining room has period-appropriate Mission style furniture




2008 photo.
Living room as seen from the dining room



2008 photo.
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



2008 photo.
Period-appropriate (but not original to the house) Mission style furniture



2008 photo.
Living room features Art glass windows that were specially designed for this house



2008 photo.
Living room







Special thanks to  Director of Operations Margaret P. Stehlik, for her coopertion and assistgance

Photographs taken by Chuck LaChiusa
Photos 2018 Martin House Restoration Corporation

|
...Home Page ...| ..Buffalo Architecture Index...| ..Buffalo History Index... .|....E-Mail ...| ..

web site consulting by ingenious, inc.