Restortaion of Darwin Martin House Attracts Funding

September 27, 2013 Updated Nov 16, 2011 at 1:51 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Credit: darwinmartinhouse.org

Restortaion of Darwin Martin House Attracts Funding

September 27, 2013 Updated Nov 16, 2011 at 1:51 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- The Martin House Restoration Corporation announced Wednesday that LPCiminelli has issued a challenge grant to the MHRC in the amount of $250,000. 

The announcement reflects the firm’s commitment to supporting and ensuring that the restoration be completed. In addition, the gift will assist the MHRC to prepare for the future with a leadership gift to the endowment.  Under the terms of this unique challenge grant, gifts can be made to either the restoration campaign or to the endowment fund.  The MHRC will need to raise $750,000 in order to earn the $250,000 gift. 

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of LPCiminelli, so we wanted to do something significant to say thank you to the Western New York Community,” said Louis P. Ciminelli, President and CEO of LPCiminelli.  “That’s why we are proud to announce that we will pledge $50,000 a year for the next five years to the Darwin Martin House through this challenge grant.”

“LPCiminelli understands the importance of the Martin House and our efforts to restore it,” said MHRC president John N. Walsh, III.  “The company and Lou Ciminelli have been loyal and capable partners, and this challenge grant takes that relationship to the next level—it will be a tremendous boost toward our fundraising goal.”

To date, $45 million has been raised for the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex, with both the public and private sectors contributing almost equally.  Funds raised through this challenge will be used for the interior restoration of the Martin House, including Wright’s signature finishes and integral design elements.

The interior restoration of the Martin House is underway but only partially funded.  The MHRC seeks to raise $5 million to complete the restoration effort.  This final major phase of restoration work will involve all three levels of the 15,000-square-foot Martin House.  Work to be completed includes reinstallation of Wright’s elaborate interior woodwork, restoration of intricately layered wall finishes and recreation of the wisteria-patterned glass tile mosaic on the central fireplace.

Once restored, the Martin House Complex will draw between 60,000 and 100,000 visitors each year, many of them first-time visitors from around the world.  Based upon independent consultants’ research, the mid-level range of projected visitation translates into nearly $20 million of annual economic impact for the region.  This is largely new money to Western New York and to the State, which will in turn benefit state taxpayers.  It is anticipated that the investment in the Martin House will pay for itself in 3 to 5 years.