Darwin Martin House Complex: views of the Barton house--page 1 (of two pages)

Frank Lloyd Wright

The Barton House was sited at the far north of the large plot that Martin owned, which with Wright's foresight would give him maximum space for the additional buildings he hoped to design. See the site plan.

Front (east) facade facing Summit Avenue

This house was Wright's first commission in Buffalo, a house for Darwin Martin's sister Delta and her husband George who worked for the Larkin Company. This small house (under 1000 square feet) was something of a test commission with the design of the Larkin Building in Buffalo and Martin's much more ambitious main house contingent on its design and completion. The design for this house was based largely on an earlier house, the J. J. Walser House in Austin, a suburb of Chicago near Oak Park. Like the Martin House, the plan here is cross-axial; here the living and dining rooms are on the first floor and the bedrooms on the second; the single story crossing contains on the south the entry and reception room and open porch extending into nature and, a wing on the north, the kitchen. And like other Prairie style residences, it has a low sloping hip roof, extensive overhanging eaves, and banded windows extending in a long horizontal. Here they even wrap around the corner, creating an illusion of even greater expansiveness.

Stucco and Roman brick exterior

According to Jack Quinan, "because the Barton House was wood framed with a brick veneer that reached only to the sill level of the second-floor windows, the brick also enabled him to dramatize the rift between the walls and the great shelf of eaves that protected the windows" (72).

Urns contributing to the unity of design

These planters stand on piers and are clearly part of the accent motifs on the Martin House. See the entrance for example.

Continue to page 8: additional views of the Barton House.

Works consulted or quoted:
Lesley Neufeld. Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House Complex. Buffalo: Martin House Restoration Corporation, 2004.
Jack Quinan. Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House: Architecture as Portraiture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004.

Return to the Martin House Index.

Go to the Wright Index.

Click here to return to index of art historical sites.

Click here to return to index of artists and architects.

Click here to return to chronological index.

Click here to see the home page of Bluffton University.

© 2009 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.