Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

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Roderick Grant
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by Roderick Grant »

The Martin master bedroom design was troublesome. There were many variations of the plan before the finished product was achieved. The problem was Isabel's need for closet space.

DavidC
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by DavidC »


SDR
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by SDR »

It would be difficult to argue with the assertion that the Martin restoration and recreation represents a "gold standard" for this sort of enterprise.

S

DavidC
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by DavidC »


DavidC
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Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by DavidC »

The Martin House - (2:28)


David

Roderick Grant
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by Roderick Grant »

There are some very interesting tchotchkes for sale in the Martin store. I guess I shall have to stop buy and browse.

DavidC
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by DavidC »


SDR
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by SDR »

There's a noticeable and I suppose forgivable tendency among enthusiasts in any realm, to impute qualities and attributes to a creator that may overshoot reality. Was Mr Wright really interested in making a bookcase for Martin's encyclopedia set that "reflected the masonry" of the room, here---when every other bookcase the man designed held books in the usual fashion ? Is the match between golden mortar and gilt lettering on the bindings of the books even worth mentioning, as if it were a conscious design decision rather than an inevitable coincidence ?

This book case fits neatly into the room in its chosen spot, and presents the books in a uniquely convenient fashion that also benefits the books' bindings by storing them horizontally. Isn't that enough ?

I'd rather have heard about the library table. It appears quite similar to the dining table in the house; note the pattern of eight holes in each corner. The dining table has a similar array of holes, which we are told were intended for lanterns. Do we have images of such lanterns---for either table ? Were such lanterns actually made ? I have been told something about planters in those lanterns causing some dissatisfaction, possibly resulting in their removal ?

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by Roderick Grant »

I would guess the book case for the encyclopedia was designed as it was because there were so many books of exactly the same size. Why FLW would reference the brick and gold-leafed mortar, I cannot imagine.

I have never seen the library table before, in fact there seems to be no historic photo of the library at all, other than a glimpse of one of the bookcases shown from the living room in "The Early Work," page 47, and the Jack Quinan book, "Architecture As Portraiture," pp. 103, 116. On page 139 is a plan of the major rooms showing the dining room and library tables with an indication of the light fixtures with flower bowls, and on page 145 an elevation of the dining table with attendant fixtures. The lights were made, but must not have lasted very long, since an early photo of the dining room shows the table without them.

SDR
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by SDR »

Image

Jim M recently sent me this drawing of the Martin dining table ensemble, a slightly more legible image of a drawing that appears in David A Hanks, "Decorative Designs . . .", p 96. Jim writes:

"The table is close to what was produced, but Martin immediately rejected the 3-legged chairs after a friend almost tipped over on a prototype… When Martin found out the manufacturer was about to produce the same scheme he personally halted production, and demanded Wright ensure the chairs had four legs and spindles. I assume the lamps that made it onto the table (if any did) might actually have been similar, since the known four holes on each corner of appear to line up with each one of the four shaded light fixtures…"

Here is the text that Hanks provides on the subject:

Image
Image

I wonder if anyone besides Jim has noticed and commented on the T-shaped base of the dining chair in that drawing
---a most unusual design for Wright at this early period ?

© 1997 by David A Hanks

Roderick Grant
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by Roderick Grant »

I can imagine that those hefty lights on the dining table would interfere with serving (though light bulbs standing high above the plants could hardly have had any adverse effect on them). The lights at Robie, Boynton and May are all much smaller and contained. Since the Martin lights are known to have existed, and since serving dinner at Martin is no longer done, I hope they have plans to restore the lights. Those in the library need never have been removed; there are settles at the ends of the table, so seating is restricted to the long sides, and serving is unlikely to have been a problem. Since the no-longer-existing fixtures seem never to have been photographed, that would be the only problem to overcome.

SDR
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by SDR »

https://timothycoleman.com/portfolio/fr ... tin-house/

https://buffaloah.com/a/jewett/125/12dr/12dr.html

A note indicates that the dining-room table lights will not be reconstructed.

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by Roderick Grant »

Yes, and that is exactly the sort of logic I reject. FLW designed the fixtures, and undoubtedly was not consulted about their removal. Had Martin asked for something less fulsome, or something entirely different to replace them entirely, and FLW had obliged, that would be a reasonable reason not to restore them. As is, not doing so is exactly the same as the upstairs windows. The windows in the south bedrooms were set back from the eave. Isobel, because she had problems with her vision, asked FLW to move them forward to increase the sunlight, which he begrudgingly did. That became a bone of contention during restoration, but in the end, they put the windows back where they had originally been located, which was the correct decision. That the same logic was not used for the light fixtures is inconsistent.

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by Roderick Grant »

By the way, SDR, thanks for the site. I have added it to my favorites.

SDR
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Re: Video: Martin House basement - Buffalo, NY

Post by SDR »

The peril of selecting a (necessarily arbitrary) "date of significance," and allowing it to dictate every decision where chronology is an issue ?

Decisions made by committee are always going to be fraught; compromise and consensus are the only perceived route to "fair and equitable" results, with at least a few disagreements an inevitable if unintended consequence.

A single strong personality, allowed to make decisions for the group, might produce a more consistent and potentially superior outcome---but the right person has to appear at the appropriate moment, and must receive the blessing of other involved parties if he or she doesn't outweigh the group as a matter of course. In our case, Mr Wright might do---unless he chose to throw history under the bus and redesign the whole thing !

S

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