Saturday, September 24, 2016

The President Speaks

September 1901 – Buffalo is the site of the Pan-American Exposition, which was sort of like a World's Fair. This was a huge deal, almost like hosting the Olympics nowadays. The city of Buffalo went all out, people came from all over the world to see the newest and latest of everything. President William McKinley even came along with most of his cabinet to take part in this extravaganza. Alas, he didn't have a very good time as he was shot by an anarchist and died a few days later. Theodore Roosevelt was vice-president at the time and was summoned to Buffalo to take the oath of office. He took the oath of office in the Ansley Wilcox house which is now a National Historic Site.

This was an interesting place, not only because of what happened here but what the park service has done to the house. They have restored  three rooms of the house but the rest of the rooms have many interactive electronic displays from videos to voting machines to a re-creation of Roosevelt's office. Some of the displays compared issues that were important in 1901 to issues today and I could not believe how many issues are just the same as back then.

Roosevelt took the oath right where that little table is

Frank Lloyd Wright. I never really understood what the big deal was with Mr. Wright. Yeah, his houses were interesting, but so? I have toured a few of his houses and generally speaking it has been no big deal. I think I get it now after touring the Darwin D. Martin house here in Buffalo.

This house was built 1903-1905 for a self-made millionaire. When you think about the type of grand houses that were being built at the time, Wright was a renegade. He was thinking outside of the box and his thinking was unlike anything anybody had done. The Martin house is in the process of some serious renovation. There is no furniture and most of the inside is a construction zone, but even with all that this house was friggin' amazing.

From the Website:  Martin House
The complex consists of six interconnected buildings designed as a unified composition, including; the main Martin House and a pergola that connects it to a conservatory and carriage house with chauffeur’s quarters and stables, the Barton House, a smaller residence for Martin’s sister and brother-in-law, and a gardener’s cottage added in 1909. The landscape design for the grounds of the complex is highly integrated with the overall composition of buildings.
The Martin House is a prime example of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie House ideal, with strong horizontal lines and planes, deeply overhanging eaves, a central hearth, prominent foundation, and a sheltering, cantilevered roof.  The complex contains 394 examples of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed art glass, including the famed “Tree of Life” window


On the way back I stopped at Wilkeson Pointe Park, a small city park on the Buffalo Harbor. Why? Whirligigs!!!!!!

I now leave you with this breaking news:

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