Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. collection
Scope and Contents
The collection includes the official records of the Conservancy; draft texts for a publication on Graycliff; copy of Conservancy webpages; a draft and a final historic structure report by Bero Associates Architects, [including architectural plans], and Graycliff-related historical artifacts and documents collected by the Conservancy including a photocopy of the Graycliff Construction album. Of particular note are the color photographs in the historic structure report which show the condition of the property before restoration.
- Graycliff Conservancy (Organization)
Language of Materials
Collection material in English.
Terms of Access
Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. Collection, 1997-2000 is restricted. Permission to access, copy or borrow any part of the collection must be given in writing by the Graycliff Conservancy and provided to University Archives.
Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright, the Graycliff Conservancy, and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Papers may be copied only with the Conservancy's permission.
Formed in 1997, the Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. is a not-for-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to providing a cultural education center, benefiting the Western New York community. Through the preservation and public access of the Isabelle R. Martin House in Derby, New York (purchased by the Conservancy in 1999), the Conservancy provides an opportunity for the public to enjoy this unique structure and setting. The Graycliff Conservancy seeks to restore and maintain Graycliff as a self-sustaining concern while maintaining the structural and ideological integrity of the site in keeping with Frank Lloyd Wright's original design of a summer house for the Darwin D. Martin family.
Chronology of the Martin Family
- Darwin D. Martin born - Boucville, Madison Co., New York
- Frank Lloyd Wright born - Richland Center, Wisconsin
- Isabelle Reidpath, the future Mrs. Martin, born - Buffalo, New York
- Brothers Darwin D. Martin and Louis Frank Martin selling soap for Larkin Company in New York City
- Darwin D. Martin, aged thirteen, begins work at Larkin Company in Buffalo
- Darwin D. Martin invents cardex
- Frank Lloyd Wright begins studies at the University of Wisconsin
- Darwin D. Martin begins building house on Summit Avenue in Buffalo
- Darwin D. Martin marries Isabelle Reidpath
- Frank Lloyd Wright builds Home and Studio in Oak Park
- Frank Lloyd Wright joins Alder and Sullivan
- Darwin D. Martin replaces Elbert Hubbard as Secretary of Larkin Soap Company
- Frank Lloyd Wright starts his own practice
- October 29 -- Darwin D. Martin meets Frank Lloyd Wright
- Darwin D. Martin purchases site for Martin House Complex, Jewett Parkway
- October 11 - Construction begins on Barton House
- July 20 - Construction begins on Martin House
- October - Barton House occupied
- Martin House Complex completed
- Frank Lloyd Wright designs Bar Beach Cottage (Bay Beach, Ontario, Canada) for Darwin D. Martin (unexecuted)
- Darwin D. Martin commissions Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for James and Dorothy Martin Foster, daughter of Darwin D. Martin (unexecuted)
- Martin retires from the Larkin Company
- Construction begins on Graycliff
- June 20 - Graycliff occupied
- Frank Lloyd Wright designs the Blue Sky Mausoleum for Darwin D. Martin's ploy in Buffalo's Forest Lawn Cemetery (unexecuted)
- Darwin D. Martin dies in Buffalo
- Fallingwater (Bear Run, Pennsylvania), designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmanns
- Isabelle R. Martin dies in Buffalo
- Frank Lloyd Wright dies
Chronology: Graycliff, 1926-1997
- April 5 - Darwin D. Martin writes to Frank Lloyd Wright requesting 1910 Bay Beach Cottage design; Darwin D. Martin is considering building on shores of Lake Erie
- April 18 - Darwin D. Martin looks at site in Derby, New York
- April 19 - Darwin D. Martin purchases 250-foot front on Lake Erie, with 60-foot cliff
- April 21 - Darwin D. Martin informs Frank Lloyd Wright that he's not interested in 1910 cottage design, but a two-story stone house designed by Frank E. Newman for E.W. Russell of Greenwich, Connecticut
- May 3 - Frank Lloyd Wright sends Darwin D. Martin preliminary drawings
- May 5 - Darwin D. Martin informs Frank Lloyd Wright that Isabelle R. Martin is Frank Lloyd Wright's client
- August 19-20 - Frank Lloyd Wright in Buffalo to see site
- August 27 - Isabelle R. Martin sees the site for first time
- September - Construction on garage begun.
- September - Due to marital problems, Frank Lloyd Wright asks his son John Lloyd Wright to take over the project; the Martins did not approve the change
- November - Frank Lloyd Wright resumes his service to the Martins; construction continues on the site
- April 5-6 - Frank Lloyd Wright visits site
- June 4 - Darwin D. Martin writes to Frank Lloyd Wright of the completion of the foundation of the main house
- June 15-16 - Frank Lloyd Wright visits site
- August 31-September 2 - Chimney and masonry of main house completed
- September - Frank Lloyd Wright finalizes designs for landscape, tennis court, circle, and guest house; the guest house was not executed
- September - Furniture designs by Frank Lloyd Wright are executed
- March 10, 12 - Furniture bought for main house
- June 20 - Martins "open" house
- September 20 - Paul A. Harsh, a house guest at Graycliff, suggests the name "Graycliff"
- April - Isabelle R. Martin asks Frank Lloyd Wright to design a screened walk to cross the esplanade behind the stone bench for servants
- June 15 - Frank Lloyd Wright visits site
- July - Martins request Frank Lloyd Wright to design a "concrete tent house" for the Foster family (unexecuted)
- July - Martins request Frank Lloyd Wright to design a third-floor to main house (unexecuted)
- July 29 - Construction on evergreen garden, stone seat begun; Frank Lloyd Wright selects and ships furnishings for the main house from Marshall Fields in Chicago; Frank Lloyd Wright suggests wicker and overstuffed chairs fo the main house
- Darwin D. Martin passes away
- Isabelle R. Martin continues to summer at the site, and winters with the Foster family
- November - Engineering report on site compiled by G.E. Seitzmiller for insurance purposes
- Isabelle R. Martin continues to summer at the site, but moves into garage apartment
- Isabelle R. Martin spends her last summer at the site; she moves permanently to Buffalo to live with the Foster family
- IRM passes away
- Stewardship of the site falls to a holding company belonging to Darwin R. Martin, son of Darwin D. Martin
- Piarist Fathers, a Hungarian order, purchases site from Darwin R. Martin
- Chapel addition constructed over south terrace of main house
- Garage addition and a storage building constructed
- Circa 1956
- School building/dormitory constructed to house Hungarian refugees
- August - Frank Lloyd Wright visits the site
- Piarist Father's place property for sale
- Graycliff Conservancy is formed to acquire and restore the site
- October - Graycliff Conservancy signs a contract to purchase the site
1 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize volume)
Collection includes the official records of the Conservancy, an historic structure report prepared for the Conservancy, and Graycliff-related historical artifacts and documents collected by the Conservancy.
Collection is arranged in three series:
- Official Records
- Historic Structure Report
- Architectural Plans: Historic Structure Report
- Historical Artifacts and Documents
The collection was established in December 1999 through a formal agreement with the Conservancy. Records were placed on deposit on March 17, 2000 by Carol Bronnenkant, President of the Graycliff Conservancy. Subsequent deposits have been made since the original deposit.
Accruals and Additions
Occasional accruals are expected to this collection.
Original Graycliff Construction album on deposit. Contact archivist for more information.
Many photographs are similar to those in MS 22.3, Graycliff Construction Photographs, circa 1926-1938.
Digital copies of many of the images are available in MS 22.91, Darwin D. Martin Digitization Project, 2007-2008 as well as online in UB digit.
Architectural drawings of Graycliff were separated and added to MS 22.0, Architectural Drawings of the Martin House and Graycliff, 1904-1930.
Processed by University Archives staff.
- Finding Aid for the Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. collection
- Finding aid prepared by University Karen Spencer.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note