I have the Wright kid…

She’s 11 and wants to be an architect (severely disappointed that Mattel opted to go with the TV anchor, and computer tech Barbies — she voted at least three times a day online for architect Barbie). This past summer she went to a week-long architecture summer camp at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House, here in Buffalo.

They’re nearing the end of a $55 million dollar reno/rebuild of the site, but tours have been going on there for a few years now. It is a museum, and as such, tourists are asked not to eat or take photos within the house — except for the architecture day-campers. They let the brats take photos anywhere in the house they wanted.

They would learn Wright-specific architectural concepts in the morning and then be let loose on a photo scavenger hunt searching for photographic evidence of things they learned about.

My sneaky kid took pictures of plants, plantings and gardening things inside the house she thought dad would get a kick out of. That’s a good kid. Here are some her clandestine photos — some of which almost no one else has access to or permission to photograph.

They’re still working on the exterior gardens. Interior renovation takes priority right now. Eventually, the gardens will follow Wright’s original plans.

The Conservatory is mostly ferns.

Nike of Samothrace (Winged Victory) graces the Conservatory.

A famous Tree of Life Window. Most are in storage until construction nears its end, a few are in museums around the world, some are gone forever.

One of Wright’s signature wide-bowl planters.

My daughter’s tree of life “Stained Glass” artwork.

Wright’s idea of a play on words – these are martin houses perched atop the Martin House. There’s no record of any birds taking up habitation here.

When you walk in the front door off the street, you look through the house and down this corridor to the conservatory & Winged Victory statue. Quite the impressive first impression.

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “I have the Wright kid…

  1. It is amazing that your child has such a thirst for architecture! Great photos too. It sounds like she will be a driven and successful woman someday!


  2. What a neat experience your daughter had. Don't you love what she chose to take pictures of? Coincidentally my 11 year old daughter also wants to be an architect. I wonder if there is anything like the camp your daughter attended around here.


  3. Michelle,I'm sure she'll be successful if I can just get her to keep her room clean first.Catherine,I hope you find an architecture camp for your daughter if she's interested. My daughter was of the youngest in this group and felt a little bit too challenged by a few of the projects, which included planning for reuse of a few area buildings waiting for renovation. Part of that project was to not only invent plausible reuse, but figure out ways to make it financially self-supporting. Taxing for an 11-year-old.


  4. I'm really fond of F.L.W., so I like this post and your daughter's report.Lucky dad!(Do you know the 4D New York City Cityscape Skyline Puzzle? She may like it. We bought it in NY : it's a 3d puzzle which includes historic and architectural explanations : you build the puzzle chronologically, as the city was built. It's beautifull and interesting, our kids love it. Here it's the link)


  5. Uncle Greg has competition…


  6. Good kid! That entrance is impressive although it looks more like a museum than a house. Love the “martin houses” too.


  7. I went to your Martin House link. That gardener's cottage looks pretty neat, too. I could see myself being the gardener and living in that.


  8. Anonymous

    Thanks for the insider views.


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