Graycliff ready to start more interior renovation

DERBY, N.Y. (WIVB) – Graycliff, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed lakeside home, has come up with $80,000 in state and private funds to launch the next part of its restoration.

The funds will pay for drawings and plans to restore the remaining areas of the interior: the kitchen, pantry, servants sun porch and all of the bedrooms.

Restoration of Graycliff, designed by Wright for Isabelle R. Martin as the family’s summer home, is 80 percent complete, said Reine Hauser, executive director.

The launch of the newest project was announced Friday evening to Graycliff donors and members at a special Solstice event.

The project began with a $40,000 matching grant through the New York State Council on the Arts. The Graycliff Conservancy raised a matching amount for the full $80,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo.

The funds will allow for drawings and specifications for the remaining interior restoration at Graycliff. Hauser said project estimates are expected in a couple of weeks.

Already restored on the interior are the family sun porch, the floors and fire suppression system in the entry, dining room and living room.

Graycliff is also referred to as the Isabelle R. Martin House because it was designed by Wright for the wife of Darwin Martin as the family’s summer home. The Darwin Martin house on Jewett Parkway in Buffalo is also undergoing a full restoration.

Both properties attract visitors interested in Frank Lloyd Wright-designed buildings.

The Graycliff Conservancy was founded in 1997 to save Graycliff from demolition. Since then, the group has purchased the property, removed non-historic  buildings and carried out repairs to the three Wright-designed buildings. All exteriors have been restored as well as the 8.5 acre historic landscaping. The most recent project this winter was the restoration of the floors of the entryway, living room and dining room and the installation of a new fire suppression system.

The summer Solstice is the one time each year at Graycliff when the setting sun cascades through two sets of windows and aligns with the drive.

Graycliff will be offering similar twilight tours to the public on the following Friday evenings this summer: June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25 and August 1.

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