Let there be light
The main rooms of Graycliff, shown here in 2011, are flooded with light according to Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic design and the wishes of owners Darwin and Isabelle Martin. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
Darwin Martin’s wife, Isabelle, suffered from poor eyesight. That’s one of the reasons, in addition to Wright’s desire to merge inside and outside, for the light-filled design of the main house.
Unlike his more famous Darwin Martin House Complex on Parkside Avenue, Graycliff’s windows lack any ornate detailing or stained glass, providing as much surface area as possible to allow light into the house. The result is an almost ethereal dissolution of inside and out, with the lake clearly visible from the east approach through the house’s windows and the brilliant flood of natural light into the living spaces.