The State of Wright: Heath House
Status: Private residence closed to the public
Location: Soldier’s Place at Bird
History: This home was designed for William Heath, the office manager of the Larkin Soap Company. He and his wife Mary were good friends of Isabelle and Darwin Martin. Their new homes were built concurrently (though the Heaths’ house was ready for occupancy before the Martins’).
What to look for: The home is located in a beautiful neighborhood and setting, its living areas raised above eye level to ensure the family’s privacy.
Comments: The home was heavily remodeled in the 1940s when doctors’ offices were added. Originally, the garage/stable was a separate building that was then joined with the main house. Those expecting to see the dark natural oak of the Martin House would be surprised to know that all the woods of Heath House were pickled and lightened, probably during the above-mentioned renovation. Wood floors have since been restored to their original color, although the baseboard and trim remain lightened.
Leaded-glass windows were made by the Linden Glass Company (which also made the windows for the Martins). The house was extensively appointed with Wright-designed furniture.
It’s clear that Wright drew on his Heath House experience when designing a house to be set on a narrow city lot for his client Frederick Robie, in Chicago.
Last week, and again this week, we will post a series that organizes each Wright gem by location, history, what should be seen, and additional information that may pique visitor interest. There are many more resources, including guided tours for most sites, excluding the private homes. It is hoped that this guide will inspire readers to see firsthand the reasons why visitors from all over the world make the trip to Buffalo to experience Frank Lloyd Wright.