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Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff Unveils Two Latest Projects

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Jun 10, 2014 01:14 AM
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by Eric last modified Jun 09, 2014

On Friday, June 6, 2014, the Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. formally unveiled its recently two most recently completed projects: restoration of floors in the Isabelle R. Martin House and installation of a new fire suppression system, as well as upgrades for visitor readiness in the M&T Visitor Pavilion at Graycliff. Read more after the jump... From the press release: "In 1997, the Graycliff Conservancy was founded specifically to prevent the demolition of the Graycliff Estate, which...




 

 

GraycliffOn Friday, June 6, 2014, the Graycliff Conservancy, Inc. formally unveiled its recently two most recently completed projects: restoration of floors in the Isabelle R. Martin House and installation of a new fire suppression system, as well as upgrades for visitor readiness in the M&T Visitor Pavilion at Graycliff. Read more after the jump...

From the press release:

"In 1997, the Graycliff Conservancy was founded specifically to prevent the demolition of the Graycliff Estate, which was designed by noted American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This community effort is now lauded nationally as a grass-roots success story.

During the last 15 years, the Conservancy has purchased the property, removed non-historic buildings and performed badly needed structural repairs to all three of the Wright-designed buildings.  It has completed the restoration of all building exteriors, including the balconies, the roofs, the chimneys, the terraces, and each and every one of the windows and doors.  The first interior room of the Isabelle R. Martin House, the Family Sun Porch,  was completed within the last two years.  Just last summer, the Conservancy completed the first major stage of restoration of its 8.5 acre historic landscape.

This celebration marks the Graycliff Conservancy’s most recent accomplishments. One such completed project are updates to the M&T Visitor Pavilion at Graycliff, to better welcome the thousands of visitors from all fifty states and every continent who tour Graycliff each year. Graycliff is considered a major asset in the regional initiative for economic development through cultural and heritage tourism, and these improvements will enhance the visitor experience. The second, and major project is the completion of restoration of the entry way, living room and dining room floors, of the Isabelle R. Martin House at Graycliff, as well as the installation of a state-of-the-art fire suppression system. 

This project was far more complex than it may appear. During the late 1940s, while Graycliff was still owned by the Martin Family, the wood living room floor collapsed due to moisture in the basement.  The Martin family  replaced the wood floor with concrete plank flooring. During the years the Piarist Fathers were in residence, they covered the dining room floor with linoleum, affixed with adhesive. Once the Conservancy began to restore the site,  the dirt basement floor was removed, and both drainage and a new concrete floor were installed in the basement, to resolve moisture issues. The linoleum flooring in the dining room was removed, leaving a thick residue of black adhesive.

With moisture problems resolved, it was now safe to painstakingly remove the concrete planks, and restore them to restore the original cypress floor. The unsightly adhesive in the dining room was also carefully removed, exposing the original wood floors, which were then restored as well.    

Also part of this project, the Graycliff Conservancy installed a large portion of a new, state-of-the-art fire suppression system. This system relies on a mist of water to extinguish flames in the event of fire, rather than the gallons of water that a more traditional system employs. This water misting fires suppression system is being used at Graycliff, the first time it is being used in Western New York.  Another portion of the system is  already protecting the Foster House at Graycliff.  

Restoration of the floors and installation of the fire suppression system in the Isabelle R. Martin House at Graycliff have been made possible through the generosity of:

• The State of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the entire New York State Legislature, particularly Senator Mark Grisanti

• The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation

• And the Hooper Family Foundation

The Conservancy is also grateful to CJS Architects and BRD Construction, which were responsible for the superb workmanship in executing this project.

The Graycliff Conservancy also wishes to thank the following for their donation of labor and materials for increased visitor readiness at Graycliff:  Uniland Development for design services and paint; Alpha Contract Flooring for carpeting and restroom flooring, both labor and materials; CATCO and Merk Blasting for updates to the parking lot."

Wonderful news and a testament to the continuing dedication The Graycliff Conservancy has for the Isabelle R. Martin House. Find out more and plan your visit at the Graycliff Conservancy website.

Image via the Graycliff Conservancy


 

 

 
 
 

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