Chris Estes recalls walking by the Martin House as a young girl growing up in North Buffalo, describing the estate as a “scary place.” Now having served as a volunteer for 22 years, our June volunteer in the spotlight is proud to have been part of a mighty team of volunteers who have witnessed the many phases of the restoration project.
Chris began her career as a commercial artist at Trico, now the Tri-Main Center. She stepped away to raise her son and daughter, returning to work when they entered high school. She joined Stained Glass Overlay but soon turned to her other vocation– sewing– and would eventually retire from Corvette Cleaners.
It was an exhibition of Martin House windows at the Burchfield Penney Art Center in the late 90’s that opened the door for Chris to begin volunteering. An important member of the retail team, she remembers the shop when it was located in the Barton House. She also serves as a chaperone and house captain on the team that ensures our tours run smoothly.
“The Martin House has been an important part of my life experience, and I believe its restoration has been the biggest contributor to Buffalo’s revival and source of pride,” says Chris. “I enjoy the people, especially the visitors who really do come from around the world to see the house.”
Chris and her husband, who is retired from the 107th Air National Guard at Niagara Falls, enjoy spending time with their six grandchildren. She continues to sew and loves quilting, which she started in the 1976 bicentennial year when quilting enjoyed a revival. Recently, she donated her talents to create stylish pillows for the Museum Store which feature notable locations in Buffalo, including Martin House of course. Be sure to stop in to the store to say hello to Chris (and purchase one of the pillows!).
Thank you Chris for 22 years of dedicated service to the Martin House.
Connect with us if you are interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities at the Martin House.