William E. Martin House (1903)
636 North East Avenue

View looking east from East Avenue
Wright built this house for William Martin, who was president of the Martin & martin Stove Polish Company in Chicago. The design of this house shows an indecisive Wright, apparently unable to make up his mind whether to build horizontally or vertically. (Compare to the Fricke House a block away.) The vertical stacking of interlocking rectangular masses and shapes makes a striking composition.

Northeast view from East Avenue
This handsome residence caught the eye of Martin's brother, Darwin, a principal in the larkin Company of Buffalo, New York, during a visit in 1903. The result was a series of six houses and an office building in Buffalo for Darwin D. Martin, his associates in the Larkin Company, and a relative.
At one time there were extensive formal gardens on the south (right) side of the house between the street and the alley. A modern brick house now occupies this area. A long pergola connected the house with the gardens.

The above commentary was excerpted from Guide to Frank Lloyd Wright & Prarire School Architecture in Oak Park by Paul E. Sprague (published 1986). The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust Book Catalog offers a selection of guidebooks which can be ordered online.

http://www.oprf.com/flw/Martin.html --
Copyright © 1996-2001 Steven Hurder, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED