2018 Spring Restoration Update
March 09, 2018
Completion of interior restoration work at the Darwin Martin House.
Martin House Plus (two-hour) tour visitors will now discover the beauty and artistry of the Martin House second floor. A highlight is the exquisite master bedroom suite, along with miles of finely crafted custom oak millwork. Many rooms, including a sewing room, incorporate Wright-designed built-in features. New variations of the Tree of Life art glass pattern punctuate windows located in nearly every room on the second floor – including bathrooms and closets. Historically restored colored beeswax wall and ceiling glazes in an autumnal palette and Japanese prints reaffirm the decorative elements that constitute Wright’s integrated design concept for the house.
With very few structural updates since it was first built in 1903, the Barton House will soon be faithfully returned to its original, historic presentation. (Completion: late May 2018) This “medium-sized” Prairie house was built to accommodate a middle-class family. Like the main Martin House, the home incorporates its own signature elements, including elegant compositions of wood trim, custom art glass patterns, and a collection of Wright-designed light fixtures and built-in furniture. Improvements to the Barton House include a reinforced foundation for the verandah, as well as appropriate museum-quality preservation systems, such as air conditioning. In addition, the kitchen will make the house ideal as a rental space for private events.
The Martin House will break ground on the rehabilitation of the historic landscape as early as April 2018. The gardens and outdoor spaces will fully complete Wright’s vision for the entire estate. Visitors will gain a fundamental understanding of Wright’s design philosophy blending architecture with its natural surroundings. With an expected completion date of Fall 2018, visitors to the estate in Spring 2019 will be the first to witness and experience the plantings in bloom and ultimately Wright’s total design of the complex in harmony with the historic landscape.