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Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex
Ranked #1 of 159 things to do in Buffalo
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The Martin House Complex (Buffalo, NY, 1903-05) exemplifies Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie House ideal and ranks as one of his finest residential works. Designed for Larkin Soap Company executive, Darwin D. Martin, the complex is a one-of-a-kind composition consisting of the main Martin House, the smaller Barton House, a carriage house with chauffeur’s quarters and stables, a glass-roofed conservatory linked to the main house by a 100-foot pergola, and a gardener’s cottage integrated architectural masterwork. Tours explore the buildings, surrounding landscape, and an extensive collection of art glass and furnishings, all designed by Wright, which together form a totally integrated architectural masterwork. We welcome you to this National Historic Landmark.
Reviewed 22 September 2012

Darwin Martin died in poverty perhaps but while alive provided FLW with plenty of opportunities to make his mark on American architecture, and FLW delivered. This wonderfully restored complex (which is still undergoing restorative work) is a great example of FLW's vision for buildings in America. My wife and I signed up for the All Wright All Day coach tour offered by Buffalo Tours and we were impressed both by the service and by the access we got to the buildings. The Darwin Martin complex was the first on our itinerary and the docent guiding us was knowledgeable and well spoken. We started our tour in the Visitor's Pavillion next door and saw a brief orientation film. Unfortunately no photos were allowed inside (unless you pay extra to go on a special photography tour). The home is classic compress and release throughout built by a quirky fellow who believed himself to be a genius and was definitely a control freak. He designed everything including the placement of furnishings, plants and art work. He also retained keys so that he could pop in and ensure everything was in place (he'd move things if they weren't where he had planned them to be).

3  Thank JamesII
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,007 - 1,011 of 1,132 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2012

Docents were very knowledgeable. Twilight tour worth going to. Even if you are not a Frank Llyd Wright fan, the experiece is very educational.

1  Thank hulamoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2012

The Darwin D. Martin House Complex was the fourth and final Frank Lloyd Wright house we visited on a recent trip to PA and NY. Although I was afraid we might overdose on FLW with another tour, both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this tour as much as any. Although the tour was sold out, the facility was not so heavily visited as Fallingwater. The docent we had lead us through the house was, without doubt, the best tour guide we've had in the five FLW houses we have visited. Thoroughly professional, entertaining and well-informed - he made the house come alive, while pointing out the main architectural elements. The tour was precede by a short movie that helped to place the tour into context. Allow two full hours for the visit, tour and exhibition in the annex. Also make reservations in advance to avoid disappointment. We arrived in the morning, but weren't able to get in until the afternoon.

1  Thank mcbridebi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2012

Arcihtectural masterpeice lovingly and accurately restored in an ongoing project. The docents leading the tours are knowledgable and enthusiastic. Worth a trip from many miles away for anyone interested in FLW and American architecture.

Thank buffalogal2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2012

Buffalo has a few examples of FLW homes and this complex underwent years of renovations into a visitors center. Worth stopping by for a tour and asking where to spot other FLW homes.

Thank A R M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
flw1, Manager at Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex, responded to this reviewResponded 17 September 2012

Thank you for your review. Buffalo is home to many examples of Wright's architecture. Two are private residences and the others are available to tour. At the Martin House complex you can see the Darwin D. Martin House (1904-5), Barton House (1903) and Gardener's Cottage (1909). Also in Buffalo are the Fontana Boat House (2007) and Blue Sky Mausoleum (2004). Mrs. Martin was the client for Graycliff (1926-31) the Martin's summer home on the shore of Lake Erie in Derby, NY, a short drive from Buffalo. There are still tickets available for this year's All Wright All Day Tour. The tour visits the public Wright sites, includes lunch and transportation

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