S.061 – William E. Martin Residence,

636 North East Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois




William Martin was Darwin Martin’s brother (Darwin was responsible for several Wright buildings in Chicago and especially Buffalo: E-Z Polish factory, S.114; Darwin D. Martin home and other related buildings in Buffalo, S.100, S.101, S.102, S.090; the Larkin Building, S.093; and Mrs. Martin’s Graycliff, S.225 & S.226).


A pergola (S.061, T.0921) built in 1909 has been demolished.


This is another lot with alley access; you are able to see the matching garage and a view of the rear of the house.  In encourage architecture fans to check alleys, side streets, and neighboring spaces where they might find interesting views of these properties.


We don’t hear or read much about Wright’s garages, but they tend to continue the tradition of carriage houses, sometimes being elaborate enough to house apartments.  Even in 1902, Wright’s wealthy clientele would at least have a need for stables, and quite possibly a need for storage for those new-fangled motorcars.  Of course, Wright was never one to put a garage front-and-center like the 1950s car culture later dictated (although the first attached front-facing garage was actually designed by Wright student Alden B. Dow for a home in 1932).  Designs in the 50s through the 70s often featured the garage in the front of the house so the homeowner could visually brag to his neighbors about the new fins and wheels.  Wright was certainly a connoisseur of fancy cars he could ill-afford, but his designs recognized that a stable or a garage was hardly the view his clients wanted from their front windows.  Society may have a place for service buildings and mechanization, but organic architecture discreetly places those features away from the line of sight. 


Photographed on September 1, 2009 and October 19, 2014. 


Project number: T.0304 (residence)


2009 photos:






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2014 photos:


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New 09/08/2012

Revised 02/14/2015 ♥