The Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York, is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's earliest and most important masterpieces. Built in the prairie style, this large residential complex was designed, landscaped, and extensively furnished by the architect. The history of its creation, recorded in over 400 letters exchanged between Wright and Martin, forms a fascinating biography not only of the house but of its architect and client.
In this detailed account of the Martin House commission, Quinan mines the Wright-Martin correspondence, along with the physical artifacts and architectural remains of the house, which is currently under restoration, to investigate Wright's often-made claim that his buildings "portray" their clients. The author presents an account of one of Wright's greatest works of "architecture as portraiture" that lends new insight into the ambitions and working methods of this much-studied architect.
Frank Lloyd Wright aficionados will join architects, preservationists, and fans of biography in appreciating the fresh perspective Quinan brings to our understanding of this great American architect and this exceptional house.