Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House inspires the imagination as a work of innovative architecture and integrated design.
It also serves as a testament to the importance of protecting and preserving historic places. The success of Martin House is the result of an extraordinary restoration team and their considerate and faithful interpretation of Wright’s original vision.
New York State | Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation
State University of New York | University at Buffalo
Restoration of Martin House is the result of a unique partnership between the State of New York—represented by the University at Buffalo and the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation—and the non-profit organization formerly known as the Martin House Restoration Corporation (now Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House). The collaboration originated nearly thirty years ago when Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan visited the deteriorating Martin House, which by then had been purchased by the University in 1967. Through his intervention, Moynihan garnered early federal funding and prompted a series of key events, which jumpstarted the resurrection of Wright’s work. Initial meetings took place in the early 1990s between State representatives and local leaders to create a community-based fundraising campaign to save the house. As a result of those conversations, the Corporation was formed in 1992 with the mission to raise money to restore Martin House and operate it as a house museum. In turn, the State—as owner of the property—entered into a legal agreement with the Corporation to bolster the financial and technical assistance critical to the site’s revitalization. Through this arrangement, the University agreed to donate Martin House to the project and offered ongoing fiscal and administrative backing, while Parks committed their support in terms of preservation guidance and collections conservation services, but also significantly pledging long-term capital maintenance for Martin House and its supporting structures. The strength of this strategic alliance forged early on in the project’s history continues to the present day.
The State agreed to include the Martin House in its collection of State Historic Sites, and committed their support in terms of preservation guidance and collections conservation services. In addition, significantly pledged long-term capital maintenance for Martin House and its supporting structures.
In 1997, Martin House selected HHL Architects to serve as restoration architect to bring the property fully back to life. Among many highlights, HHL managed the interior and exterior restoration of the main Martin House; reconstruction of the pergola, conservatory, and carriage house; and the rehabilitation of Barton House. The firm’s outstanding work on the project has garnered much praise from the historic preservation community.
Bayer Landscape Architects
Martin House engaged Bayer Landscape Architects to produce a Cultural Landscape Report in 2014. The publication provides a detailed history and restoration plan for the gardens and grounds of the estate. In May 2018, the firm continued their involvement with the project by overseeing the construction and final implementation of Martin House’s landscape.
Toshiko Mori Architect
Martin House commissioned Toshiko Mori Architect to design a visitor center brought about by an architectural competition held in 2002. The project broke ground in January 2008 and was completed in February 2009. Conceived as a “garden pavilion,” the award-winning building is an integral part of the Martin House experience. It provides orientation space, exhibition galleries, visitor support services, as well as program and public rental space.