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Frank lloyd wrights martin house complex :: learn : restoration

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The Martin House Complex is currently being restored to its condition of 1907: the “year of significance” for its restoration. It is an active construction site, with restoration work now in Phase V (2010).

aluminum martin house


  • Phase I : 1996 – 1997
  • Focus on Phase 1
  • Restoration of the Martin and Barton house roofs and gutters was undertaken in 1996-1997 in order to protect the structures and prevent further water damage.

    house martin


  • Phase II : 2003 – 2004
  • Focus on Phase II
  • Phase II (2003-2004) consisted of: Martin House foundation waterproofing; installation of new water service and sewer systems; replacement of the Martin House veranda concrete slab; and installation of a non-historic basement mechanical room (beneath veranda slab).

    the martin house


  • Phase III : 2004 – 2007
  • Focus on Phase III
  • The most ambitious and pivotal of the first three phases of restoration of the Martin House complex, Phase III focuses on the complete reconstruction on the original footprint and based on the original drawings and specifications – of the Wright-designed Pergola, Conservatory and Carriage House. Installation of mechanical systems such as the geothermal HVAC system, relocation of site utilities, and preliminary tie-in of mechanical systems to the Martin House also began in this phase.

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  • Phase IV : 2007
  • Focus on Phase IV
  • Phase IV (2007) includes restoration of various masonry elements on the exterior envelope of the Martin House itself, as well as reversal of changes to exterior walls made by the Martins in 1920. Most notably, the second floor south elevation wall was moved back to its location of 1907, and the trunk room added by filling-in a cantilevered corner on the northwest of the house was removed. This phase also included completion of masonry, tile and other elements on the Martin House veranda.

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  • Phase V : 2010 – Current
  • Focus on Phase V
  • Phase V (2010 – Current) is divided into two sub-phases:

    Phase 5A will upgrade all mechanical, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, security, fire monitoring and suppression systems in the Martin House. The main house will be integrated into the geo-thermal exchange heating and cooling system already in place on the campus and in use for the reconstructed pergola, conservatory and carriage house.

    An education facility – the Junior League / Buffalo News Learning Center – will be incorporated into the lower-level “playroom” of the Martin House. A motorized lift will connect the first floor of the building with the lower level to provide accessible entry to the Learning Center. In addition, a pantry kitchen has been designed for non-public space on the lower level to service programs in the building.

    The second phase of interior restoration, 5B, will focus on the extensive interior wood trim, plaster, and paint finishes, and exterior site-work. This highly specialized and detail-oriented work will complete restoration of the main Martin House to its appearance of 1907.

    Upon completion of 5B, the extensive collection of original furnishings entrusted to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Bureau of Historic Sites, will be reinstalled in the Martin House according to our Historic Furnishings report. Many pieces of original art glass will be reinstalled in the house at this juncture as well.

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