EMPIRE STATE DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCES STATE INVESTMENT IN HISTORIC GRAYCLIFF WILL RESTORE FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT PROPERTY TO ITS FORMER GLORY
State fulfills 90% of restoration funding; focus now shifts to visitor's center
Empire State Development today announced the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Graycliff Estate in Derby is to receive $3.7 million in Buffalo Billion Phase II funding to fully bring the property back to its condition in 1931. The $4,047,000 project will include complete interior restoration of both the Isabelle Martin House and the Foster House, landscaping improvements and rebuilding beach access. The interior restoration project will continue to build on the $6 million exterior restoration already completed by the Graycliff Conservancy since 1997.
"Frank Lloyd Wright's genius brought beauty and grandeur to Buffalo and Western New York in the early days of the 20th century, and with the completion of the Graycliff Manor project that legacy is preserved for the 21st Century and beyond," said Lieutenant Governor Hochul during today's announcement. "I am honored to have been part of today's announcement which, through Governor Cuomo's investment in Buffalo's revival, makes New York State a partner in the restoration of this irreplaceable cultural and world class tourism destination."
“After 20 years of hard work, Graycliff will now be beautifully restored,” said Robert Wooler, Graycliff’s Executive Director. “Fueled by the energy and ingenuity of volunteers and the carefully managed investments of $6 million by Governor Cuomo, Erie County, and our Foundation partners, Graycliff is poised to delight visitors from both around the globe and right here in our backyard. The Buffalo Billion II investment of $3.7 million will be serving as a catalyst for Graycliff to fully realize Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision for this spectacular property.”
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Western New York masterpiece has always been a sight to behold, and with the unveiling of this beautiful glass mosaic fireplace, it's better than ever. This updated New York State Historic site will increase tourism revenue to the region and is another great reason to come visit."
With the State’s investment fulfilling 90% of the restoration budget and the remaining 10% already secured or pledged, Graycliff will shift its focus to the addition of a pavilion that will serve as a Visitor and Interpretive Center, featuring exhibits, a video viewing station, and other interactive amenities that bring Graycliff’s past, present and future to light.
To support the next phase of Graycliff’s growth, the Conservancy and its Board of Directors recently adopted a new strategic plan that outlines a creative rethinking of how the Graycliff story is told. This resulted in the evolution of the Graycliff brand, including a new logo, brand story, video and website.
More than just a refresh, the new brand better conveys Graycliff’s full story. Charles Le Fevre, Graycliff’s board president noted, “Graycliff doesn’t solely represent an architectural masterpiece, it draws strength from its tranquil eight acre natural setting on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie.” The Graycliff brand also embodies the stories surrounding the project itself, including the Martin family’s relationship with Wright, Isabelle Martin’s influential role during a time when women didn’t have a strong voice in society, and Wright’s struggles, both personal and professional—all during a tumultuous and uncertain time in America’s history.
To experience Graycliff in its fully restored glory and to reserve your place on a tour, visit http://www.experiencegraycliff.org/ or call (716) 947-9217.