Geocaching with Navicache


cache type Frank Lloyd Wright Series #1: Martin House Complex cache size

This cache has been retired.
Please do not look for this cache.

by Rayman77
(Finds: 104  Score: 393.5)    (Hidden: 10  Score: 32.5)

printer versionPrinter Version   Spy on this cache.Spy on this Cache

  2 people or teams spying on this cache!  See who is watching this cache.

Coordinates (WGS-84 datum)
N 42° 56.156'   W 078° 50.905'
This may not be the actual cache coordinate.
Buffalo,   New York   14214
United States    Near By Caches

Hidden On: 09 Apr 2006
Waypoint (Landmark): N01FE3
Open Cache:  Non-commercial use only
Cache type:  Multi-Part
Cache size:   Micro

Difficulty: gps half gps (easy)
Terrain: gps half gps (easy)

Misc: No drinking water! No restrooms (water closets) available Pets are allowed. Parking is available No fees!

This is the first cache in a series highlighting the local structures designed by world famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Inside is a clue which will lead you to a final cache location. Be sure to write this clue down so you can find the final.

Maps are queued for generation.
Additional maps for this cache available at: topozone.com logo    mapquest.com logo

The above coordinates will take you to three signs with some information about the Darwin D. Martin house restoration project. Some info from these signs will take you to the cache, somewhere nearby in Delaware Park. The coordinates for the cache are as follows:
N 42° 56.AB6
W 78° 51.C9D

A= The 4th digit in the year of the photo in the lower right corner of the left sign
B= The 1st digit in the year in the Architectural Genius quote on the left sign, MINUS 1
C= The 3rd digit in the year of the photo in the upper left corner on the right sign, PLUS 1
D= The 2nd digit in the length of the item described in the picture on the right side of the right sign

Darwin D. Martin was born in Bouckville, New York in 1865. Following the tragic death of his mother in 1871, he endured a lonely childhood, finally going to work at the age of 13 as a "soap slinger" for the Larkin Company. It was this separation from his mother and siblings that determined his goal to build a complex of houses where his remaining family might reassemble.

Darwin was the only high-ranking executive in the Larkin Soap Company who was not related in any way to the Larkin family. He had been with the company since 1879, when Larkin trained the 13-year-old to be the company's first bookkeeper. His success came as the result of hard work and his invention of a card file system of accounting which revolutionized the business.

William Heath, John Larkin's brother-in-law brought from Chicago to head up the company law division, is the person who told Darwin Martin about Frank Lloyd Wright and encouraged Darwin to seek out Wright's work in Oak Park, Illinois.

Darwin Martin convinced his brother, William Martin, who wanted to build a new house on the lake shore in Chicago, to go with him to Oak Park to see the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Martin brought Wright to Buffalo in November 1902 to look at a lot on Oakland Place that Martin owned. Wright convinced Martin to purchase the property at Jewett and Summit and the Barton House was started.

Darwin Martin’s health began to fail him in the late 20’s and when he died in 1937, the house was too much for Mrs. Martin to keep up. The depression had left the housing market in Buffalo flat and she was not able to sell the house so she abandoned it in 1938. There was talk of demolishing the whole complex in the 1940s, but somehow it managed to survive until 1955 when it was purchased by Sebastian Tauriello, an architect. In order to maintain the house, Mr. Tauriello sold off the part of the land with the carriage house and gardener’s cottage/greenhouse. They were promptly demolished and replaced by 3 apartment buildings.

The Martin House is an example of Wright's Prairie House style, a American house type characterized by a low, pavilion-like structure in which space is not contained by walls but flows freely, divided only by the regular occurrence of piers.

Among the more than 60 Prairie houses designed by Wright between 1900 and 1915, the Martin House is distinguished by its large size, larger budget (said to exceed $100,000, 40 times the cost of the average American house at the time), and its elegant interior detailing.

Piers and walls of thin Roman brick with deep horizontal joints combine with large concrete copings and cantilevered roof sections to harmonize building with site. Large, shallow urns set upon terrace walls, designed to overflow with flowers and greenery, form a transition from the natural world outside and the architectonic realm of the building itself.

The porte cochere, the carport-like part of the house, provided a path to the house sheltered from the elements. Mr. Martin used the porte cochere to enter the house at his private entrance that led to his study.

Wright designed a dramatic entrance for the Martin House. From the low threshold, a guest would look down the pergola toward the conservatory. Their eyes would then sweep upward to take in the powerful release of space into the second floor stairwell.

The reception room features a fireplace with an arch that created a sunburst effect. This was achieved by tapering the bricks and mortar. The fire's glow was made even more enticing by the use of gold in the horizontal mortar that shone out and radiated warmth into the room.

Every room contained furniture and built-in cabinets designed by Wright. The dining room featured high-back chairs and a T-shaped table. Some tables and other furniture often harmonized with each other at certain elevations, scaled to its architecture rather than human form. This often made chairs very uncomfortable to sit in.

Wright believed that the fireplace symbolized the unifying heart of the home. He created a two-sided fireplace that greeted guests in the entry hall and warmed the family in the living room. The fireplace was entirely clad on four sides with a glass-tile mosaic depicting purple wisteria blossoms with vines and leaves. The original fireplace deteriorated over time and was altered by renovation. It will be restored as part of the restoration project.

In the library, Wright gave Martin plenty of built-in storage space for his many books. In the design of the house, Wright used the bookshelves to hide the support piers and heating radiators.

The open space of the main house living areas extended outdoors onto a spacious veranda. Open on three sides and covered by a broad sheltering roof, it created an outdoor room where the Martin family enjoyed summer breezes.

The Barton house, the first of Frank Lloyd Wright's Buffalo buildings to be completed, was built for Darwin Martin's sister, Delta Martin Barton, whose husband, George, worked for the Larkin Company. The floor plan is based upon Wright's 1902 Walser house in Chicago.

Its low profile reflects the expansiveness of the American prairie. Wright's use of unadorned natural materials -- brick, concrete, and oak -- reflected an organic approach.

Wright wrapped a continuous band of windows across the front (and rear) of the house and around the corners of these bedrooms to create an illusion of expansiveness.

The subordinate axis of the house consists of an open porch on the south with an abbreviated kitchen projecting to the north. Although this section contains very little usable living space, its function as a counterpart to the height and mass of the two-story part of the house should not be underestimated. Wright repeatedly experimented with cross-axial plans in order to lower the height of his houses and extend them farther into the surrounding landscape.

The room dimensions of the house are small, but the effects of space are maximized throughout the design. The principal living spaces are concentrated in the two-story portion of the house, where the living, dining, and reception areas open freely in to one another as discrete subdivisions of a continuous space. In contrast, the two major bedrooms on the second story are located at the opposite ends of a narrow corridor.

The carraige house and stable, later used as a garage with chauffer's quarters above, also housed the Martin House heating system. Heat was generated by boilers and then carried to the house along pipes that ran below the pergola to be distrubued into radiators above in the house. Also contained in the carraige house were other mechanicals for the house such as the generator for electricity. It is currently being rebuilt as part of the restoration project.

The conservatory provided the Martins with a lush indoor garden. A replica statue of Nike of Samothrace (Winged Victory) stood in the formal niche, a classical grace note to the entire symphony that was the Martin House composition. This is also being rebuilt as part of the restoration project.

A stunning walkway connected the Martin House to the sun-lit garden in the conservatory. From the Martin House front door, the view into the conservatory was 180 feet! This is the third part of the complex currently being restored.

The Martins employed a full-time gardener who had to provide fresh flowers daily from the greenhouse behind the gardener's cottage for every room in the main house, a task which he assiduously accomplished until his employer died in 1935. Martin had Wright design a house for him at 285 Woodward Ave. This house wasn't part of the main design of the complex, but is adjacent to the carraige house.

The complex is listed as a State Historic Site and is also a national historic landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Tours are available by stopping in the gift shop in the Barton House.

NoteAdd a Log Entry

CACHE LOGS - May contain hints(spoilers)!    decode

I found it! 15 Sept 2006 by  mickemt  (Finds: 172  Score: 590.5)    (Hidden: 71  Score: 266)
    Open Log:  Unrestricted

Definately came at just the right time, managed to get a free tour as well as a find!

I found it! 23 Apr 2006 by  WhiteUrkel  (Finds: 172  Score: 635)    (Hidden: 40  Score: 156)
    Open Log:  Personal use only

Crud!! I forgot to look for a paper log entry from "searching seniors" which was never posted to Geocaching.com. I know it's someone's sock puppet account, because NO ONE IS NAMED EDNA!!! Not even any seniors that are still alive :-). But I enjoyed seeing the house (pretty sure it's the first time I ever even did a drive by), and finding the cache. TFTC Rayman.

I found it! 20 Apr 2006 by  HuckleBuckle  (Finds: 77  Score: 273.5)    (Hidden: 67  Score: 223.5)
    Open Log:  Personal use only

Myself and Dragonflyby met up with Hiking Cockroachess, Guinea Gal, and GadgetCHC at the FLW house to start our mostly urban caching day. This was a nice hide, with an interesting history. Looking forward to doing the rest of the series. Thanks Ray.

I found it! 12 Apr 2006 by  outdoorkpn  (Finds: 19  Score: 64.5)    (Hidden: 0  Score: 0)
    Open Log:  Non-commercial use only

Nice hide. I,ve been in this house a number of time when U.B. owned it. I use to take care of the boilers for the heatins system. Thanks for the fun. Outdoorkpn.
[Modified 2006-04-14 10:59:20]

I found it! 11 Apr 2006 by  Mr_Z  (Finds: 85  Score: 308.5)    (Hidden: 0  Score: 0)
    Open Log:  Unrestricted

What a Beauty of a day!!! and a lunch time find at 13:45.

I found it! 11 Apr 2006 by  Searching Seniors  (Finds: 2  Score: 6.5)    (Hidden: 0  Score: 0)
    Open Log:  Personal use only

We heard about geocaching from out of town friends and decided to give it a try. This one was close to home so Edna and I took a nice afternoon stroll pass the Darwin Martin Complex and into the park. We usually take after dinner walks through the neighborhood and new right where the signs were. Although we are new to this activity we think we may be the first people to find this cache as we didn't see any other logs here. Could it beginners luck senior style? Thank you for placing the first cache we found. Hopefully there will be many more.

Note 10 Apr 2006 by  HuckleBuckle  (Finds: 77  Score: 273.5)    (Hidden: 67  Score: 223.5)
    Open Log:  Personal use only

To go for a FTF, or not to go for a FTF.. that is the question. ;-)


Order your Navi-Tees and more

© Copyright 2009 Navicache. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer     Contact Us