In 1904, Darwin D. Martin commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a complex of buildings to be his home. The Martin Estate was completed in 1907 on a 1.4-acre site in the Frederick Law Olmsted designed Parkside neighborhood of Buffalo. The complex included the Main House, the Pergola, the Conservatory, and the Carriage House. When Martin died in 1935, his widow abandoned the estate. In 1959, the owner sold the Pergola, Conservatory, and Carriage House to finance repairs to the Main House. The sold elements were demolished, and apartment buildings took their place. In 1966 the University at Buffalo acquired the house, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
In 1992 the Martin House Restoration Corporation was formed with the mission to restore and manage the complex. The three apartment buildings were demolished, and reconstruction of the complex to its original condition began. This resulted in a multi-year search for materials including roman brick, mosaic floor tile, handmade terra cotta roof tiles, cast-in-place concrete, limestone, art glass windows, old growth cypress, quarter-sawn oak, light fixtures, and bronze/brass hardware. Research included visiting the Frank Lloyd Wright archives to study original artifacts, specifications, photographs, etc. Lastly, a geothermal HVAC system was also incorporated for constant temperature/humidity control.