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Frank Lloyd Wright - Darwin D. Martin papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS 22.8
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.

Dates

  • 1888-1979

Creator

Language of Materials

Collection material in English.

Terms of Access

Frank Lloyd Wright - Darwin D. Martin Papers, 1888-1979 are open for research.

Copyright

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.

Extent

2.29 Linear Feet (5 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)

Overview

Correspondence between Darwin D. Martin of Buffalo, New York and architect Frank Lloyd Wright, concerning the Wright designed homes for the Martin family.

Chronology

1865
Darwin D. Martin born - Boucville, Madison Co., New York
1867
Frank Lloyd Wright born - Richland Center, Wisconsin
1869
Isabelle Reidpath, the future Mrs. Martin, born - Buffalo, New York
1878
Brothers Darwin D. Martin and Louis Frank Martin selling soap for Larkin Company in New York City
1879
Darwin D. Martin, aged thirteen, begins work at Larkin Company in Buffalo
1885
Darwin D. Martin invents cardex
1887
Frank Lloyd Wright begins studies at the University of Wisconsin
1888
Darwin D. Martin begins building house on Summit Avenue in Buffalo
1889
Darwin D. Martin marries Isabelle Reidpath
Frank Lloyd Wright builds Home and Studio in Oak Park
1890
Frank Lloyd Wright joins Alder and Sullivan
Darwin D. Martin replaces Elbert Hubbard as Secretary of Larkin Soap Company
1893
Frank Lloyd Wright starts his own practice
1902
October 29 -- Darwin D. Martin meets Frank Lloyd Wright
Darwin D. Martin purchases site for Martin House Complex, Jewett Parkway
1903
October 11 - Construction begins on Barton House
1904
July 20 - Construction begins on Martin House
October - Barton House occupied
1905
Martin House Complex completed
1910
Frank Lloyd Wright designs Bar Beach Cottage (Bay Beach, Ontario, Canada) for Darwin D. Martin (unexecuted)
1923
Darwin D. Martin commissions Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for James and Dorothy Martin Foster, daughter of Darwin D. Martin (unexecuted)
1925
Martin retires from the Larkin Company
1926
Construction begins on Graycliff
1928
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)
1935
Darwin D. Martin dies in Buffalo
1936
Fallingwater (Bear Run, Pennsylvania), designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmanns
1945
Isabelle R. Martin dies in Buffalo
1959
Frank Lloyd Wright dies

Chronology: Graycliff, 1926-1997

1926
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
1927
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
1928
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"
1929
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
1935
Darwin D. Martin passes away
Isabelle R. Martin continues to summer at the site, and winters with the Foster family
1938
November - Engineering report on site compiled by G.E. Seitzmiller for insurance purposes
1941
Isabelle R. Martin continues to summer at the site, but moves into garage apartment
1942
Isabelle R. martin spends her last summer at the site; she moves permanently to Buffalo to live with the Foster family
1945
Isabelle R. Martin passes away
Stewardship of the site falls to a holding company belonging to Darwin R. Martin, son of Darwin D. Martin
1950
Piarist Fathers, a Hungarian order, purchases site from Darwin R. Martin
Mid-1950s
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
1958
August - Frank Lloyd Wright visits the site
1996
Piarist Father's place property for sale
Graycliff Conservancy is formed to acquire and restore the site
1997
October - Graycliff Conservancy signs a contract to purchase the site

Arrangement

Collection is arranged in four series:
  1. Martin Family Papers, 1888 [1905-1933]
  2. Specifications for Barton and Martin Houses, circa 1903-1904
  3. Correspondence, 1902-1949, 1967-1979
  4. Post-1915 Correspondence held by Stanford University Special Collections, 1915-1979

Other Finding Aids

Darwin D. Martin - Frank Lloyd Wright correspondence index [index incomplete].

Acquisition Information

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.

Alternate Form

Photocopies of original records are available for public use.

Related Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collections

  1. MS 22.0, Architectural Drawings of the Darwin D. Martin House and Graycliff, 1904-1988
  2. MS 22.1, Frank Lloyd Wright Correspondence with Michael Meredith Hare, 1933, 1940
  3. MS 22.2, Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, Reference Files, 1904-2010
  4. MS 22.3, Graycliff Construction Photographs, circa 1926-1938
  5. MS 22.4, Blueprints of the W.W. Davies Residence, Louisville, Kentucky, Undated
  6. MS 22.5, Darwin D. Martin Photographs, circa 1860s-1970s
  7. MS 22.6, Darwin D. Martin Family Papers, 1878-1935
  8. MS 22.7, Darwin D. Martin Correspondence with O.S. Lang, 1904-1921
  9. MS 22.9, Larkin Company Plans, 1904, 1912
  10. MS 22.91, Darwin D. Martin Digitization Project, 2006-2008
  11. MS 22.92, Darwin D. Martin Digital Images, circa 1860s-1970s
  12. MS 22.93, Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, Oral Histories, 1971-1980
  13. MS 22.10, Historic American Building Survey Drawings, Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House, Buffalo, New York, 1986-1987
  14. MS 68, Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. Collection
  15. 3/1/445, Friends of the Darwin D. Martin House, Records,1966-1982
Related O.S. Lang Letters, 1905-1906
The University Archives also has the letter book of O.S. Lang, containing copies of outgoing letters, June 6, 1905 February 20, 1906 [MS 22.0, item 35]

Processing Information

Processed by University Archives staff.
Title
Finding Aid for the Frank Lloyd Wright - Darwin D. Martin papers
Status
completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by University Archives staff.
Date
2010
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
und

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

Contact:
420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-2916
716-645-3714 (Fax)