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“Wonderful tour, fascinating time period”

Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex
Ranked #1 of 152 things to do in Buffalo
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Martin House Complex (Buffalo, NY, 1903-05) exemplifies Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie House ideal and ranks as one of his finest residential works. Designed for Larkin Soap Company executive, Darwin D. Martin, the complex is a one-of-a-kind composition consisting of the main Martin House, the smaller Barton House, a carriage house with chauffeur’s quarters and stables, a glass-roofed conservatory linked to the main house by a 100-foot pergola, and a gardener’s cottage integrated architectural masterwork. Tours explore the buildings, surrounding landscape, and an extensive collection of art glass and furnishings, all designed by Wright, which together form a totally integrated architectural masterwork. We welcome you to this National Historic Landmark.
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
65 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Wonderful tour, fascinating time period”
Reviewed May 8, 2013

We've made many, many trips to Buffalo for shopping and dining and thought we'd check out something different. When the #1 attraction on Tripadvisor mentioned the Darwin Martin House we knew we were on to something. Slightly embarrassed that we have lived in the area all our lives and didn't realize this Frank Lloyd Wright designed complex was in our own back yard, we knew we had to rectify that. Parking is available at the Buffalo Zoo (another great attraction) and tokens to cover the parking fee can be picked up when purchasing your tour tickets or in the gift shop.
The background information housed in the Greatbatch Pavillion set the tone for what was a really interesting tour. The docents are knowledgeable and extremely passionate about their subject. The tour was wonderful and the home and history were fascinating. As the restoration of the complex continues we have every intention of returning to check on the progress. If you're a Frank Lloyd Wright fan, this is a stop for you. And even if you aren't, it's still pretty interesting and the neighbourhood surrounding the complex has some beautiful homes to check out as well.

Visited April 2013
4 Thank ryerson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Buffalo, NY
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Worth touring!”
Reviewed May 7, 2013

If you like architecture and history, this is a must see when visiting Buffalo! Wonderful place with lots of interesting stories to go with it.

Visited July 2012
Thank Kim E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pomona, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Interesting and Informative Tour”
Reviewed May 5, 2013

We toured the Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D Martin House Complex on a snowy day. Apparently a former resident had visited earlier and made a snow angel on the front lawn like he used to do as a kid! We took the extended tour and really enjoyed it. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and friendly.

Visited March 2013
Thank dashdashdashdash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester, New York
Level Contributor
211 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Well-worth a visit for Frank Lloyd Wright fans”
Reviewed May 5, 2013

It was a beautiful late Saturday morning in early May. My wife and I bought tickets only the day before for the In-Depth tour of the Complex. The staff at the beautiful, modern visitor's center were very nice and quickly got us on our way. There is a very thorough introduction there and the tour begins with a 10 min film on the Martins and FLW. The tour is, in fact, in-depth on the buildings, grounds, the Martins and their history. It was a bit light on FLW, but that's OK as I have read a good deal about him - and, you only have two hours or so! We started with a walk to the Barton House (Martin's sister). Our guide told us we would see the three "levels" of homes - middleclass (this is the Barton House), upperlcass (the Martin House) and working class (the caretakers home). We walked around the grounds on the sidewalk to the corner and the docent spoke of the church and the home across the street (very interesting) and you saw the homes from different perspectives and from a wide angle (nicely done). Entering the Darwin home, a very thorough explanation of what FLW was trying to achieve was given and it was thoroughly interesting. We examined nearly all of the 1st floor (didn't go into the servants dining room was the only exception, I think), went upstairs to see a couple of bedrooms and the very sophisticated shower in the master bedroom and finally through the pergola - which was restored beautifully. In the kitchen, just before this, the docent offered a photo of the complex around when the time Restoration Corporation took over the Complex - with the apartment buildings that existed then (ugh!). What a great job they have done and are doing.

We loved the walk thru the pergola to the FLW greenhouse, out to the caretakers home and back to the stables/gift ship. A very worthwhile way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The Parkside neighborhood is beautiful in its own right (we were told its layout was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead).

Not sure how the In-Depth tour differs from the regular tour, but if it is just going upstairs in the Barton/Martin home and you don't have the time (or energy to climb a couple of flights of stairs), I don't think you miss much.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Dave E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
flw1, Manager at Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House Complex, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your tour!

The In-Depth Tour visits the first and second floor of the Martin House and Barton House and the first floor of the Gardener's Cottage, pergola, conservatory and Carriage House.

The Basic Tour visits the first floor of the Martin House, pergola, conservatory and Carriage House.

We look forward to your return visit
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ormond Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Fascinating Look Into Architecture”
Reviewed May 4, 2013

First of all, this is really not for kids unless they are especially interested in architecture or you are turning it into a school lesson. That being said, it is absolutely enthralling to learn about the history of this house, how and why Frank Lloyd Wright came to build it and just to see how he designed it to truly connect with nature and the landscaping around it. Don't miss the fireplace in the main house or the green indoor gardens.

Visited April 2013
1 Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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