Frank Lloyd Wright's Barton House getting major rehab

Aug 22, 2017

The historic Martin House project in North Buffalo is getting into the last phases of reconstruction of the Frank Lloyd Wright design. The new phase is rehabilitation of the Barton House on Summit Avenue.

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond

Construction bid documents are on the street and due back August 31 for seven months of heavy renovation work on the Barton House.

The Barton House is designed much more simply than the main part of the complex, although it looks a lot like the Martin House and the Wright design uses even the same Roman brick. Martin House Executive Director Mary Roberts says the building has the same wiring, plumbing and much of the heating installed when the estate construction started 110 years ago.

It was built for family members of Darwin Martin, even before the main building. Roberts says there has been very little done to the building since it was purchased.

Credit WBFO's Mike Desmond

"The only real restoration that's been for the Barton House so far," Roberts says. "We replaced the roofs and the gutters nearly 20 years ago when we started on this project in 1996-1997 and, at the time, we did the roof systems on both the main Martin House and the secondary Barton House."

Roberts says the only other major project still to do is the landscaping, which will be done next year.

She says Wright designed the landscaping to tie together all of the buildings on the Martin estate and after the plantings are completed next year, Wright's vision for the five-building complex will be very clear.