What Is Our Generation’s Martin House?

If you need any evidence to how unsustainable we are as society, look to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House in the city of Buffalo. Wright finished the Martin house in 1905. Thirty two years later, one of the most remarkable mansions in the richest country in the world was abandoned. It wasn’t until 1992, that the Martin House Restoration Corporation was formed. Think of the craftsmanship, the detail, the pride, that was put into that house; given up on, after one generation.


I recently saw Martin House Executive Director, Mary Roberts speak about the painstaking detail that has gone on over the last two decades to restore the buildings. She talked about the tremendous demand there is from people all over the world to visit the property. Thanks to Mary and countless others, we have a chance to redeem ourselves from the guilt of our hindsight. We shame that time when a relic of one of the world’s greatest architects could be left for ruin. But it made me ask, what is that we’re missing today? What’s going to ruin right now, that we can save? What will people forty years from now be ashamed of us for abandoning?


3 thoughts on “What Is Our Generation’s Martin House?

  1. Griffin,

    Thanks for the shout out. The Martin House is a community asset for all generations, and I like your looking ahead to the future of our community!

    To anyone reading this post, if you haven’t been to visit, please take a tour this summer “http://www.darwinmartinhouse.org/tour_descriptions.cfm”
    or attend one of our events. “http://www.darwinmartinhouse.org/events.cfm”

    Mary Roberts

  2. The Martin family “adandoned” this house because they could no longer afford its upkeep. Wright was a complete failure when it came to practical designs which his victims (sorry, “clients”) could afford. Mrs. Martin disliked the place from the very beginning, and Darwin had fits about the cost over-runs.

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