Article: Darwin Martin House completes $52M renovations

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
lastchancesugarco
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 8:31 pm
Location: Colorado

Post by lastchancesugarco »

Woah! Great finds SDR! What do you suppose the many garden stakes are for? Marking plants?

SDR
Posts: 19416
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Looks like a recently-reaped corn field at first glance---but yeah, I guess it's incipient landscaping ...

S

DavidC
Posts: 7784
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »


Roderick Grant
Posts: 10180
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

The offending apartment buildings were extant the first time I saw Martin in 1985. Sad little buildings. Their construction may have saved the house, but their demolition was nevertheless a breath of fresh elbowroom for the property. I can hardly wait for the landscaping to fill out. I shall do the Grand Tour once that has achieved a degree of maturity.

JimM
Posts: 1543
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Be sure not to miss this link from the article with some of the almost breathtaking photos available of the restoration...
https://buffalonews.com/2017/06/03/gallery7354/

Btw, the stone sculpture on the wall in the view from the East terrace is "Spring" by Richard Bock. The sculpture is a replica with the original at the Bock Museum at Greenville College, gifted by Martin's son in the 1940's. It was commissioned for the house, as was possibly a second sculpture,"Winter", of which no record exists of it being completed. Bock was very busy with Larkin at the time. The museum did not want to part with it, which the Martin Restoration Corporation well understood.

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10180
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

I hope they restore the light fixtures on the dining room table. A lot of people dislike those fixtures. Even the Martins obviously didn't like them, since they removed them. But FLW put them there, and they should be restored.

DavidC
Posts: 7784
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »


JimM
Posts: 1543
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Roderick Grant wrote:I hope they restore the light fixtures on the dining room table. A lot of people dislike those fixtures. Even the Martins obviously didn't like them, since they removed them. But FLW put them there, and they should be restored.
Agreed. Probably a "by the book" restoration thing. If not there at the target date, never existed-the holes beside the point... similar to the decision about the studio cantilever in Oak Park-even Lloyd disagreed with its removal!

The Martins assumed occupancy in 1905, although final details took completion into 1907, the targeted date of restoration. A letter to Wright's office from Martin in 1906 mentions the dining table having arrived, but is waiting for Wright's next visit before returning it to the Milwaukee manufacturer for "reconstruction". This never occurred if in reference to the lamps, and Martin lived with the holes. Although most likely removed before the restoration date, it was in close proximity to Fuermann's visit to photograph the house (minus the lamps) for the March 1908 Architectural Record. Certainly there's an argument to have restored them as part of the original design, but they were not accepted by the clients who personally removed them. An interesting question would be, if the original lamps surface, would they return them to the table or display them separately? They were never used by the Martins, but would still be of historical and monetary value.

I suppose it ended up fitting to having empty holes docents can point out to amuse tourists, being the only wart in the midst of such extravagance and beauty.

SDR
Posts: 19416
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I guess the fixtures themselves would be the only source of accurate dimensions and details ? Or are there drawings ?

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10180
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Yes, SDR, there are drawings. Although the lamps are not specifically detailed in any drawings I have seen, they appear in drawings of the dining set. See David Hanks, page 96, for an elevation, and page 95 for the plan, and Jack Quinan's book, "Architecture Of Portraiture" pages 139 and 145.

They were used, according to an interview with the Martin daughter. She claimed the heat of the bulbs caused the water in the flower bowls to boil! According to the family photo in Quinan (page 209) taken in 1907, she looks old enough to have had a clear memory of things, rather than a constructed memory.

I don't know about the dates involved, but if they were that picky, they were also inconsistent: According to Edgar Tafel, the skylight in the stair hall did not exist until he put it there in the 1960s. He didn't even know about the request for it from DDM, which FLW proposed with a sketch that was included in the Martin Papers. I don't recall if the sketch was dated, nevertheless, Martin did not follow through. As designed, there was to have been a brick grille added to the roof to conceal the skylight housing from view.

Establishing a target date makes sense, but to insist on it in all things is no more than a bureaucratic excuse. If such a date must be followed absolutely, the living room of the OP Home should be filled with the accoutrements shown in early photos, that include a polar bear rug and an upright piano. Although a bust of Beethoven wouldn't hurt.

DavidC
Posts: 7784
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »


Roderick Grant
Posts: 10180
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

From 2:10 to 2:20: What is the 'trim'(?) along the upper living room ceiling? Is that an original decorative element, or is it some, I dunno, structural necessity added on? Also, I heard somewhere that the original finish on the living room ceiling was silver foil, but the hue is not clear in the video.

JimM
Posts: 1543
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 5:44 pm
Location: Austin,Texas

Post by JimM »

Yes, Roderick. Those are battens to attach trim. The individual modules of the unit room are defined by the mid-air trim sections between the pier groupings either side of the fireplace. The two "missing" trim sections run full length from the dining room to library; visually tying everything together. Each trim piece has a center plaster strip similar in color to the olive-green carpets. Funny that a video about the completion shows the ceiling before it was finished!

I'm not aware of silver foil and assume it would have been restored if original. Some photos do show what could be a silver/gray plaster, but then others with the usual autumnal golds and greens.... may have something to do with photos showing different phases of application?

DavidC
Posts: 7784
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »


DavidC
Posts: 7784
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:22 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN

Post by DavidC »


Post Reply