Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Corporation

Cementing a historic landmark’s future

Nestled in Buffalo’s Parkside neighborhood, just minutes from Delaware Park, you will find the Martin House, a National Historic Landmark, N.Y. State Historic Site and premier tourist destination that is the very definition of a grand masterpiece.

“Thoughtful architecture and good design matter,” explained Mary Roberts, Executive Director of the Martin House. “In a certain sense, architecture is about improving the human condition.”

Built between 1903 and 1905, the Martin House was designed by acclaimed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for Buffalo business executive Darwin D. Martin and his family. Over the years, it fell into disrepair, but thanks to a nearly 30-year restoration project guided by passionate community members beginning in 1992, the campus has now been brought back to its former glory.

“The Martin House is remarkably beautiful and timeless, and now it is just unbelievably restored,” said Donna DeCarolis, Immediate Past President of the Martin House.

“As much as this is about historic preservation, it is also about economic development,” added Mary. “This is everyone’s Martin House.”

To ensure the Martin House remains a pillar in our region for many years to come, its Board turned to the Community Foundation to establish the Martin House Endowment Fund in 2013. Already familiar with the Community Foundation through receiving its inaugural 21st Century Fund grant in 2001, the Board trusted the Community Foundation to be a good steward of its funds. Through the endowment, the Martin House has secured a perpetual stream of funding for the future.

As Mary prepared for retirement at the end of 2022, she reflected on the years-long partnership. “Whether offering advice, providing continuing education or just being accessible, the Community Foundation has been a wonderful partner,” she said.

“We feel a deep connection to the Community Foundation,” added Jack Walsh, Martin House Capital and Endowment Campaigns Chair. “We see what it is doing in Western New York, and it is important for us to be part of that change.”

This story is featured in our 2022 Annual Report.