Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House: Beyond The Architecture

77ccbb15-8b6f-4bfe-9741-1c0f2a2d8e75

The drive to Parkside, Buffalo’s first suburb designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, a hop, skip and a jump away from Hertel, is bound to leave you astounded. And rightly so, because the sight is one of magnificent opulence. Pardon me, “organic” magnificent opulence.

main_banner_img_02

For it is in this historic neighborhood, at the conjuncture of Jewett Parkway and Summit Avenue that Frank Lloyd Wright’s celebrated Darwin D. Martin house stands in all its glory.

dmh-virtualtour

Completed in 1907 (yes, nineteen-o-seven), the six historic structures spread over a sprawling 29,000 square feet exemplify Frank Lloyd Wright’s philosophy about organic architecture, and his now-famous quote “form and function are one.”

main_banner_img_04

But there is more to the Darwin Martin House than meets the eye. Behind this perfect-prairie facade lies the dedication and hard work of volunteers – almost 400 of them. They could be serving as your docents or chaperones, helping you pick out a souvenir from the beautifully curated pieces of the museum gift store, or simply fluffing the cushions in the main living room (Frank Lloyd Wright cushions, pretty big deal!).

Buffalo-Darwin-D-Martin-House-interior

As a new volunteer at Darwin-Martin House myself, I can first-handedly vouch for the appreciation that the board and the staff has towards all of their volunteers. Be it the Director of Volunteers agreeing to chat with me for the blog, proudly beaming when telling me that her volunteers are the face of this organization and the most rewarding aspect of her job; or the Director of Retail Operations giving me a tour of the gift shop, narrating the story of every single art piece or souvenir that he offers in the store – it does not take long for one to realize why 400 people devote their time to this Buffalo monument (after all we do have a lot of options).

MHRC 10-8-1319096-1

So next time when you are on the tour, look beyond the architecture. Stop by the museum store to chat with the retail-store volunteers, ask your chaperones and docents for their stories. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Special thanks to Angela Laviano-Hamister and Joseph Incao for their precious time and cooperation.

Pictures: DarwinMartinHouse.org

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House is currently in Phase V of an expansive restoration project estimated to cost $50 million, out of which $40 million has already been raised.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Design & Decor, History & Culture and tagged by Meg Vaidya. Bookmark the permalink.

About Meg Vaidya

A larger than life young professional/grad student; who does not let her work consume her. When i am not working as an electrical engineer and web researcher/analyst; i can be found wandering about every nook and corner of Buffalo or writing about my latest Buffalo expedition or reading at Spot or cheering on the Sabres or Bills :) Want to know more; follow me on Twitter @megvdy.

2 thoughts on “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House: Beyond The Architecture

  1. Pingback: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House: Beyond The Architecture | What's Going On In Buffalo?

  2. I abs lutel love your blog an find most f οur post’s to be exactly I’m lokonig for.Does one offer guest riters to w it cont ntfor you per onally? I wοuldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome web site!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s