Buffalo’s past glory lives on in its architecture
Sunday, July 9, 2017 | Alex Bozikovic, Globe and Mail
“Don’t freeze your architect down to certain areas,” wrote Frank Lloyd Wright. “Proportion must determine these things within reasonable limits, and give him a free hand within that limit; stretch the limit until your discretion deflects to the breaking point.”
That was the great architect writing in 1904 to Darwin D. Martin, the Larkin Soap Company executive for whom he was designing a house. Martin sure didn’t “freeze him down”: The house Wright designed for him is both enormous and spectacular, a 15,000-square-foot mansion as fine as any in North America.
And here I was, inside the place. Moving from the foyer of the deep-eaved house, through rooms lined with elaborate stained glass, Roman brick, and oak cabinetry, I stepped through a low doorway and looked down a 100-foot-long pergola toward lush plantings and a statue of a goddess.
Reconstructed and restored, the Martin House is a masterpiece of 20th-century building. And it’s in Buffalo.
Yes, Buffalo, N.Y.: the American city less than two hours from Toronto, best known to Ontarians for cross-border shopping and fiery TV newscasts. Yet the city was once among America’s richest, and it has a tremendous wealth of architecture, urbanism and art. It was here that I came to mark the 150th birthday of Wright – and here that he did some of his great work.
Read the full article at Globe and Mail.