More than a biography of America’s greatest architect, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S
BUFFALO is a story of family, friendship, and the meaning of home in American
life. The high-definition film, airing on Monday, September 4 at 10 pm, explores
how a friendship spanning decades affected the structural aesthetic of a major American
city and made a significant impact on architectural history. FRANK LLOYD
WRIGHT’S BUFFALO is narrated by David Ogden Stiers. Armand Assante
is the voice of Frank Lloyd Wright.
Buffalo, New York has the unique privilege of having more Frank Lloyd Wright structures
than any other city in America outside of Chicago. This collection of architecture
is due to one man: Buffalo businessman Darwin D. Martin. The centerpiece of Wright’s
work in Buffalo is one of Wright's earliest designs, the Darwin Martin House. Built
in 1904, it precedes such masterpieces as the Robie House and Fallingwater and is considered
by many as the finest example of his prairie house design.
The current restoration of the Martin estate is the springboard into FRANK LLOYD
WRIGHT’S BUFFALO. Contained within the walls of the estate is the
extraordinary story of the thirty year friendship that developed between Wright and Martin—a
friendship that has been largely overlooked by Wright historians. Through the
prism of this friendship, the film explores the importance of Buffalo during Wright’s
early career, the architectural significance of the Martin estate, and the development
of Wright’s first large-scale commercial commission, the Larkin Building.
Over the course of thirty years, Martin became Wright’s closest friend and confidant. He
looked to Martin for support both financially and emotionally. Insightful letters
between the two men dramatically tell of the architect’s motivations, his human frailties
and foibles. More than a story of architecture, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S BUFFALO is
a revealing and surprising look into the world of the greatest architect that America has
The program features spectacular cinematography of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture,
his home and studios in Oak Park, Illinois and Spring Green, Wisconsin, and dramatic footage
of significant architecture in Buffalo, New York. The program also utilizes numerous
interpretive interviews with such noted scholars as Neil Levine, Professor of Architecture
at Harvard University; Paul Goldberger, Architecture Critic for The New Yorker; and Wright
biographer Meryle Secrest.
Wright’s grandson, Eric Lloyd Wright, and the grandchildren of Darwin Martin also
share personal stories. Mingled with rare archival imagery, these elements are all
are woven together with a powerful and poignant soundtrack.
Funding for FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S BUFFALO was provided by The Margaret
L. Wendt Foundation, the Zemsky Family Foundation, The Buffalo News, The Gioia
Family Fund, and the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau. Promotional
consideration provided by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo 21st Century Fund.