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University Archives

Graycliff - The Isabelle R. Martin House


Introduction

GraycliffGraycliff, set on a high cliff overlooking Lake Erie, was designed in 1926 by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright for Isabelle R. Martin and her husband, Darwin D. Martin, a Larkin Company executive. Located in Derby, New York, twenty minutes south of the city of Buffalo, Graycliff served as the summer residence of the Martins from 1928 until mid-1940s.

The site set on a 8.2 acre wooded lot. The major feature of the site is the two-story main dwelling. The structure is distinguished by a series of continuous bands of windows, a veneer of fossil-laden rocks, a ground-hugging foundation, and cantilevered balconies. Also prominent is a sunken garden or esplanade that leads from the back of the dwelling to the edge of the cliff.

Graycliff is the third residence executed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Martin family. The first was the George Barton House (1903-1904), built for George Barton and Delta Barton, a sister of Darwin D. Martin. The second was the Darwin D. Martin House (1904-1905). Both buildings are located next to each other in the Buffalo neighborhood of Parkside.

The images on this site are from the University Archives' Frank Lloyd Wright - Darwin D. Martin Photographic Collection. The images on this page may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The images are made available solely for private study, scholarship or research. Permission to publish, reproduce, display or deposit in other institutions must be obtained from the copyright holder and the University Archives.

Citations must identify the University Archives, State University of New York at Buffalo.


Photos

Tower from top of cliff to lake shore, ca. 1930s


View of Lake Erie from cliff, ca. 1930s


Interior of Main Residence, ca. 1930s


Southwest Elevation, Main Residence, ca. 1930s


Northwest Elevation, Main Residence, 1930s


The images on this site are from the University Archives' Frank Lloyd Wright - Darwin D. Martin Photographic Collection. The images on this page may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The images are made available solely for private study, scholarship or research. Permission to publish, reproduce, display or deposit in other institutions must be obtained from the copyright holder and the University Archives.

Citations must identify the University Archives, State University of New York at Buffalo.


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