While seen as the centerpiece of the Graycliff estate due to its proximity to and views of Lake Erie, the Isabelle Martin House can actually be viewed as an orientation point for landscape features that define the entire eight acre property. The landscape was designed in broad outline by Wright but completed in detail by pioneering landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman from 1929 to 1931.
The Foster House, an apartment above the garage, is a more traditional Wright design with extensive eaves and cantilevered balconies. Originally designed as the chauffeur's quarters, the apartment actually served as the summer home of Darwin and Isabelle's son-in-law and daughter, James and Dorothy Foster, and their two children.
While the pond is a key element of the original Wright design, part of a circular pattern of water flow that would be continuous from the lake, through the house, and down the pond waterfall from the Porte Cochere, the full continuity was never established, and the pond itself was filled in after 1932. Today, we have restored it to its glory in 1931, planted with juniper, yellow flag iris and other native species, and peppered with native rocks.