Frank Lloyd Wright - Darwin D. Martin papers
Scope and Contents
Correspondence between Darwin D. Martin of Buffalo, New York and architect Frank Lloyd Wright, concerning the Wright designed homes for the Martin family: The George Barton House (1904) and the Darwin D. Martin House (1906) in Buffalo, New York, and the Graycliff House (1928) in Derby, New York; and the Larkin Company Administration Building in Buffalo; later correspondence documents the continuing personal and financial relationship between Darwin D. Martin and Frank Lloyd Wright. Also includes correspondence between Darwin D. Martin and his brother William E. Martin of Chicago, Illinois, who was also a client and friend of Frank Lloyd Wright. In addition to correspondence, the Collection includes specifications for the Martin and Barton houses. Also included is a small amount of family and business correspondence of Darwin D. Martin and his son, Darwin R. Martin.
- Martin, D.D. (Darwin D.) (Person)
Language of Materials
Collection material in English.
Terms of Access
Frank Lloyd Wright - Darwin D. Martin Papers, 1888-1979 are open for research.
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 and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.
- 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
- Isabelle R. Martin 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
2.29 Linear Feet (5 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)
Correspondence between Darwin D. Martin of Buffalo, New York and architect Frank Lloyd Wright, concerning the Wright designed homes for the Martin family.
Collection is arranged in four series:
- Martin Family Papers, 1888 [1905-1933]
- Specifications for Barton and Martin Houses, circa 1903-1904
- Correspondence, 1902-1949, 1967-1979
- Post-1915 Correspondence held by Stanford University Special Collections, 1915-1979
Other Finding Aids
Darwin D. Martin - Frank Lloyd Wright correspondence index [index incomplete].
The Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin D. Martin Collection was purchased jointly for the University Archives of the State University of New York at Buffalo and for Special Collections at Stanford University. Under the terms of the agreement between the two institutions, the State University of Buffalo has the original copies of materials dated prior to 1915, and photocopies of the later materials. Stanford University has the original copies of materials dated 1915 and later and photocopies of the earlier materials.
Accruals and Additions
No further accruals are expected to this collection.
Photocopies of original records are available for public use.
Processed by University Archives staff.
- University Archives (Repository, Organization)
- Buffalo and Western New York Architecture Collection (State University of New York at Buffalo) (Organization)
- Finding Aid for the Frank Lloyd Wright - Darwin D. Martin papers
- Finding aid prepared by University Archives staff.
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Language of description note