Landscaping work continues at Darwin Martin House

May 28, 2014

As the painstaking restoration progresses at the Darwin Martin House, planners are now focused on the grand landscaping that once adorned the property.

Credit WBFO File Photo

With the entire project around 85 percent complete for $45 million so far, managers are reviewing what Frank Lloyd Wright wanted the estate to look like.

Martin House Restoration Corporation Executive Director Mary Roberts says there is ample documentation that provides insight into Wright's landscape plans. Some wisteria and beech tree remain in place from the original design.

"We're talking about landscape as one of the upcoming phases. This is the year that we'll do the historic research so that we can have the blueprint, as it were, really the document for what has to be rehabilitated," Roberts said.

"In addition to landscape, we're also getting very close to awarding contracts for the remaining interior wood restoration in the main building."

Roberts says much of the wood trim remains although a lot of that is in storage because it was removed for earlier stages of the restoration project. Now, eight-and-a-half-miles of woodwork  have to be restored; some will have to be made new.  A major focus is family recreation areas in the basement. Wright made it easier more than a century ago by specifying the woodwork had to be made from American white oak.