$50M in estate restorations complete at Darwin Martin House

Jul 22, 2019

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday to mark the completion of $50 million in renovations to the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Darwin Martin House.

Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

The renovations began over 25 years ago and include foundation stabilizations, interior and exterior restorations, the building of the Greatbach Pavilion, and roof restorations to both the Martin House and Barton House. The final installation was landscaping restorations, which began last year.

“This is not just about historic preservation or a single cultural asset,” said Martin House Executive Director Mary Roberts. “The Martin House, Frank Lloyd Wright, Graycliff—these are arguably Western New York’s exportable brand names.”

Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Roberts says they would not be where they are today without the support of New York State, from which they received $24 million.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul was on hand for the ribbon-cutting. She said the vision for the estate restorations has finally come to fruition after 25 years.

“This was a community that did not realize the incredible potential that was lying untapped,” she said. “This has been a journey of a few individuals who had a true belief, that if they could simply re-energize this property, it could be an exceptional attraction to people from around the globe.”

Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Along with the money from the state, Erie County pitched in another $4.6 million.

The complex features the main Darwin Martin House, the smaller George and Delta Barton House, the Eleanor and Wilson Greatbatch Pavilion, a carriage house, a gardener’s cottage and a conservatory linked to the main house by a 100' pergola.