In Five Versions of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Boynton House, George Cassidy Payne explores Wright’s architectural marvel on 16 East Boulevard in Rochester. Today he takes us down the thruway to one of Wright’s architectural marvels in Buffalo.
One of Wright’s masterpieces that I have always wanted to visit is The Darwin D. Martin House on 125 Jewett Parkway in the Parkside neighborhood of Buffalo, NY. Recently my wish was fulfilled when I got a chance to stop by for a short yet enthralling visit.
Started in 1903, the Darwin D.Martin House was actually a complex of buildings, including a conservatory, carriage house-stable, gardener’s cottage, and two family homes. Most architectural critics and historians rank the Darwin House as one of Wright’s most impressive achievements, and certainly the pinnacle of his Prairie-style. And for good reason, every inch is designed to enhance the feeling that you are not just inside a place of residence but fully immersed in a spiritual setting like a Shinto temple or Japanese Zen monastery. From the art glass windows to the pergola, the house is a perfect example of what can happen when the elegant and organic elements of the East meet the ambition and technical vitality of the West.
Photography by George Cassidy Payne