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Finding Aid for the Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, Oral Histories 1971-1980

MS 22.93

State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives


420 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States
Phone: 716-645-2916
Fax: 716-645-3714
Email: lib-archives@buffalo.edu
URI: http://library.buffalo.edu/archives/

Finding aid prepared by University Archives staff.
Finding aid encoded in EAD by Karen Spencer.
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid prepared using local best practices.

Please use the following URL when citing this document:
http://purl.org/net/findingaids/view?docId=ead/archives/ubar_ms0022_93.xml

© 2010. State University of New York at Buffalo. All rights reserved.


Collection Overview

Title: Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, Oral Histories, 1971-1980
Creator: State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives
Extent: 1.30 linear feet (1 manuscript box; 1 legal manuscript box containing 10 reel to reel audiotapes, 6 cd-roms; 1 media box, containing 15 cassette audiotapes )
Language of Material: Collection material in English.
Repository: State University of New York at Buffalo. University Archives
Abstract: Oral history interviews with persons associated with the Darwin D. Martin House, Buffalo, New York, and other buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, MS 22.93, Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, Oral Histories, 1971-1980, University Archives, State University of New York at Buffalo.

See the Special Collections' preferred citations instructions for additional information.

Acquisition Information

Oral history interviews were performed by University Archives staff and others between 1971 and 1980.

Terms of Access

The Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, Oral Histories, 1971-1980, are open for research.

Copyright

Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Processing Information

Processed by University Archives staff.

Reprocessed and finding aid revised in April 2010 by Karen Spencer.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.


Historical Note

Chronology: Martin Family - Frank Lloyd Wright, 1865-1959

1865 Darwin D. Martin born - Boucville, Madison Co., NY
1867 Frank Lloyd Wright born - Richland Center, Wisconsin
1869 Isabelle Reidpath, the future Mrs. Martin, born - Buffalo, NY
1878 Brothers Darwin D. Martin and Louis Frank Martin selling soap for Larkin Company in NYC
1879 Darwin D. Martin, aged thirteen, begins work at Larkin Company in Buffalo
1885 Darwin D. Martin invents cardex
1887 Frank Lloyd Wright begins studies at the University of Wisconsin
1888 Darwin D. Martin begins building house on Summit Avenue in Buffalo
1889 Darwin D. Martin marries Isabelle Reidpath
Frank Lloyd Wright builds Home and Studio in Oak Park
1890 Frank Lloyd Wright joins Alder and Sullivan
Darwin D. Martin replaces Elbert Hubbard as Secretary of Larkin Soap Company
1893 Frank Lloyd Wright starts his own practice
1902 October 29 -- Darwin D. Martin meets Frank Lloyd Wright
Darwin D. Martin purchases site for Martin House Complex, Jewett Parkway
1903 October 11 - Construction begins on Barton House
1904 July 20 - Construction begins on Martin House
October - Barton House occupied
1905 Martin House Complex completed
1910 Frank Lloyd Wright designs Bar Beach Cottage (Bay Beach, Ontario, Canada) for Darwin D. Martin (unexecuted)
1923 Darwin D. Martin commissions Frank Lloyd Wright to design a home for James and Dorothy Martin Foster, daughter of Darwin D. Martin (unexecuted)
1925 Martin retires from the Larkin Company
1926 Construction begins on Graycliff
1928 June 20 - Graycliff occupied
Frank Lloyd Wright designs the Blue Sky Mausoleum for Darwin D. Martin's ploy in Buffalo's Forest Lawn Cemetery (unexecuted)
1935 Darwin D. Martin dies in Buffalo
1936 Fallingwater (Bear Run, Pennsylvania), designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Kaufmanns
1945 Isabelle R. Martin dies in Buffalo
1959 Frank Lloyd Wright dies

Chronology: Graycliff, 1926-1997

1926 April 5 - Darwin D. Martin writes to Frank Lloyd Wright requesting 1910 Bay Beach Cottage design; Darwin D. Martin is considering building on shores of Lake Erie
April 18 - Darwin D. Martin looks at site in Derby, NY
April 19 - Darwin D. Martin purchases 250-foot front on Lake Erie, with 60-foot cliff
April 21 - Darwin D. Martin informs Frank Lloyd Wright that he's not interested in 1910 cottage design, but a two-story stone house designed by Frank E. Newman for E.W. Russell of Greenwich, Connecticut
May 3 - Frank Lloyd Wright sends Darwin D. Martin preliminary drawings
May 5 - Darwin D. Martin informs Frank Lloyd Wright that Isabelle R. Martin is Frank Lloyd Wright's client
August 19-20 - Frank Lloyd Wright in Buffalo to see site
August 27 - Isabelle R. Martin sees the site for first time
September - Construction on garage begun.
September - Due to marital problems, Frank Lloyd Wright asks his son John Lloyd Wright to take over the project; the Martins did not approve the change
November - Frank Lloyd Wright resumes his service to the Martins; construction continues on the site
1927 April 5-6 - Frank Lloyd Wright visits site
June 4 - Darwin D. Martin writes to Frank Lloyd Wright of the completion of the foundation of the main house
June 15-16 - Frank Lloyd Wright visits site
August 31-September 2 - Chimney and masonry of main house completed
September - Frank Lloyd Wright finalizes designs for landscape, tennis court, circle, and guest house; the guest house was not executed
September - Furniture designs by Frank Lloyd Wright are executed
1928 March 10, 12 - Furniture bought for main house
June 20 - Martins "open" house
September 20 - Paul A. Harsh, a house guest at Graycliff, suggests the name "Graycliff"
1929 April - Isabelle R. martin asks Frank Lloyd Wright to design a screened walk to cross the esplanade behind the stone bench for servants
June 15 - Frank Lloyd Wright visits site
July - Martins request Frank Lloyd Wright to design a "concrete tent house" for the Foster family (unexecuted)
July - Martins request Frank Lloyd Wright to design a third-floor to main house (unexecuted)
July 29 - Construction on evergreen garden, stone seat begun; Frank Lloyd Wright selects and ships furnishings for the main house from Marshall Fields in Chicago; Frank Lloyd Wright suggests wicker and overstuffed chairs fo the main house
1935 Darwin D. Martin passes away
Isabelle R. Martin continues to summer at the site, and winters with the Foster family
1938 November - Engineering report on site compiled by G.E. Seitzmiller for insurance purposes
1941 Isabelle R. Martin continues to summer at the site, but moves into garage apartment
1942 Isabelle R. martin spends her last summer at the site; she moves permanently to Buffalo to live with the Foster family
1945 IRM passes away
Stewardship of the site falls to a holding company belonging to Darwin R. Martin, son of Darwin D. Martin
1950 Piarist Fathers, a Hungarian order, purchases site from Darwin R. Martin
Mid-1950s Chapel addition constructed over south terrace of main house
Garage addition and a storage building constructed
Circa 1956 School building/dormitory constructed to house Hungarian refugees
1958 August - Frank Lloyd Wright visits the site
1996 Piarist Father's place property for sale
Graycliff Conservancy is formed to acquire and restore the site
1997 October - Graycliff Conservancy signs a contract to purchase the site

Scope and Content Note

Collection contains recordings and transcripts of interviews with persons familiar with the Darwin D. Martin house, Larkin Company administration building, and another house in Buffalo, New York, all designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.



Container List

I.    Mary E. Burke: Interview 158 May 25,1978

Interview by Jack Quinan, art historian, with a former employee of the Larkin Company about the Larkin Company administration building.

Box-folder Contents
1.1 Typed transcript,
15 pp.
2.1 Recording,
7 inch reel to reel audiotape
II.    Dorothy Martin Foster 1971-1973,

Interviews with Darwin D. Martin's daughter by Shonnie Finnegan with Lorelei Z. Ketter and Frederick Tamalonis present.

Box-folder Contents
1.2 Darwin D. Martin House, Oral History Interviews with Dorothy Martin Foster and Darwin R. Martin, 1971-1976
Typed transcripts,128 pages [spiral bound]

Includes following interviews:

Dorothy Martin Foster interviewed by Sue Greenwood, November 1971, Tr 104, pp. 1-11
Dorothy Martin Foster interviewd by Shonnie Finnegan, Lorelei Z. Ketter and Fred Tamalonis, participating, December 5, 1972, Tr. 9, pp. 12-42
Dorothy Martin Foster interviewd by Shonnie Finnegan, Lorelei Z. Ketter and Fred Tamalonis, participating, May 22, 1973, Tr. 10, pp. 43-83
Darwin R. Martin interviewd by Shonnie Finnegan, John D. Randall and Jack Quinan participating, October 18, 1976, Tr. 107, pp. 84-128.

II.A.    Interview 104 November, 1971
Box-folder Contents
1.3
Typed transcripts

Includes summaries and working copies with edits.

2.6-2.7
Recording,
Two 7 inch reel audiotapes, 3.75 ips

Tape 2 is marked "Fred Tamalonis talking on the Darwin D. Martin House and tour schedule."

2.6-2.7
Recording,
Two 7 inch reel audiotapes, 3.75 ips
3.9
Recording,
Audiocassette, 30 minutes
2.13
Recording, Fall 1971
1 Cd-rom

Digitized recording of audiocassette by WNED-TV on August 23, 2005.

II.B.    Interview 9, December 5, 1972
Box-folder Contents
1.4-1.5
Typed transcripts,

Includes summaries and working copies with edits.

2.8
Recording,
7 inch reel audiotape, 3.75 ips
3.10-3.11
Recording,
2 Audiocassettes, 30 minutes
2.11-2.12
Recording,
1 Cd-rom

Digitized recording of audiocassette by WNED-TV on August 23, 2005.

II.C.    Interview 10 May 22, 1973
Box-folder Contents
1.6
Typed transcripts

Includes summaries and working copies marked with edits.

2.9
Recording
7 inch reel audiotape, 3.75 ips
3.12
Recording
Audiocassette

Marked "not complete". Side 2 marked "Begins Tr. 107".

2.16
Recording
1 Cd-rom

Digitized recording of reel to reel audiotape by WNED-TV on August 23, 2005.

III.    Ruth Tauriello Gorman: Interviews 155, 156, 157 June 28, 1977 July 1, 1977

Interview by Jason Aronoff with the widow of architect Sebastian J. Tauriello who owned Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo, New York, from 1954-1967. Jason Aronoff wrote the first tour guide for the Darwin D. Martin House and was a member of the Society of Architectural Historians, Buffalo/Western New York Chapter.

Box-folder Contents
1.8 Summary transcripts

Also includes photocopies of:

• letter from Frank Lloyd Wright to Sebastian J. Tauriello, April 24, 1954, concerning the Martin house
• Tauriello's resume, July 13, 1964
• "Historic American Buildings Survey" report on the Darwin Martin house, November, 1964

3.1-3.3 Recordings
3 audiocassettes, 60 minutes each
IV.    Evelyn Heath Jacobsen: Interview 159 January 18, 1979

Interview by Jack Quinan, art historian, with Dr. Evelyn A. Heath Jacobsen, wife of Dr. A. Wilmot Jacobsen [a Buffalo pediatrician] and daughter of William R. Heath [a lawyer who served as office manager and later vice-president for the Larkin Soap Company] and Mary Elizabeth Hubbard [sister of Elbert Hubbard]. The William R. Heath House in Buffalo, New York, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Interview includes information about the Larkin Company administration building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

Box-folder Contents
2.2 Recording
One 7 inch reel audiotape
3.4 Recording
1 audiocassette, 60 minutes
V.     Lorelei Z. Ketter: Interview 106 Fall 1971

Interview by Susan Greenwood of Mrs. Robert L. Ketter, wife of the president of the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Box-folder Contents
2.3 Recording
One 7 inch reel audiotape
VI.    Marjorie F. Leighey: Interview 161c 1980

Interview by John Weber for National Public Radio from local station WBFO. Mrs. Leighey lived in a Frank Lloyd Wright house built for Loren Pope in 1941.

Box-folder Contents
3.5 "NPR Options: Frank Lloyd Wright and The Mother Art", broadcast on September 5th and 8th, 1980
1 audiocassette, 60 min.
VII.    Darwin R. Martin: Interview 107 October 18, 1976

Interview with Darwin D. Martin's son by Shonnie Finnegan with Lorelei Z. Ketter and Frederick Tamalonis present. See also final transcript in II. Dorothy Martin Foster, folder 1.2, pp. 84-128.

Box-folder Contents
1.7 Typed transcripts

Includes a summary and working copies marked "tape 4" and "tape 5," with edits.

2.10 Recording
7 inch reel audiotape, 3.75 ips
3.13-3.15 Recording
3 Audiocassettes, 60 minutes each
2.14-2.15 Recording
2 Cd-roms

Digitized recording of reel to reel audiotape by WNED-TV on August 23, 2005.

VIII.    Jerry O'Connor 1997

Interview by University Archives staff, Chris Densmore and Rodney Obien with O'Connor who lived in the garage apartment in the Darwin D. Martin House complex in the late 1940s and early 1950s about his recollection of the Martin House. Includes description of the Pergola and condition of the main house.

Box Contents
3.6-3.7 Recording (unnumbered interview) October 10, 1997
2 audiocassettes, 60 minutes each[1 master, 1 copy]
Box Contents
2.4 Interview 105: Recording Fall 1971
One 7 inch reel audiotape, 3.75 ips

Lecture on Frank Lloyd Wright at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and interview by Susan Greenwood.

2.5 Interview 11: Recording December 11, 1973
One 7 inch reel audiotape, 3.75 ips

Recording of a slide lecture presented at the Darwin D. Martin house on Frank Lloyd Wright and the Darwin D. Martin house.

3.8 Interview 162c: "The Frank Lloyd Wright I Knew", August 13, 1980
1 audiocassette, 60 minutes

Recording of a slide lecture given at the Darwin D. Martin house. Originally two cassette tapes, only Tape 1 was located during reprocessing on April 6, 2010.


Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online catalog.

Contributors

Aronoff, Jason
Burke, Mary E.
Densmore, Christopher
Finnegan, Marchand M.
Foster, Dorothy Martin
Gorman, Ruth Tauriello
Greenwood, Susan M.
Jacobsen, Evelyn Heath, b. 1896
Ketter, Lorelei Z.
Leighey, Marjorie, d. 1983
Martin, Darwin R. (Darwin Reidpath), 1900-1979
Obien, Rodney G., 1970-
Quinan, Jack
Tafel, Edgar
Tamalonis, Frederick M.
Tauriello, Sebastian J.

Subjects

Darwin D. Martin House (Buffalo, N.Y.)
Graycliff (Derby, N.Y.)
Larkin Building (Buffalo, N.Y.)
Martin, D. D. (Darwin D.), 1865-1935
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959

Genres

Oral histories (document genres)

Associated Material

Related Resources in the University Archives

Related Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collections

MS 22.0 , Architectural Drawings of the Darwin D. Martin House and Graycliff, 1904-1988
MS 22.1 , Frank Lloyd Wright Correspondence with Michael Meredith Hare, 1933, 1940
MS 22.2 , Darwin D. Martin-Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, Reference Files, 1904-2010
MS 22.3 , Graycliff Construction Photographs, circa 1926-1938
MS 22.4 , Blueprints of the W.W. Davies Residence, Louisville, Kentucky, Undated
MS 22.5 , Darwin D. Martin Photographs, circa 1860s-1970s
MS 22.6 , Darwin D. Martin Family Papers, 1878-1935
MS 22.7 , Darwin D. Martin Correspondence with O.S. Lang, 1904-1921
MS 22.8 , Frank Lloyd Wright-Darwin D. Martin Papers, circa 1888-1979
MS 22.9 , Larkin Company Plans, 1904, 1912
MS 22.91 , Darwin D. Martin Digitization Project, 2006-2008
MS 22.92 , Darwin D. Martin Digital Images, circa 1860s-1970s
MS 22.10 Historic American Building Survey Drawings, Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin House, Buffalo, New York, 1986-1987
MS 68 , Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. Collection
3/1/445 , Friends of the Darwin D. Martin House, Records,1966-1982