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.
Pond, House architecture and transparency
The pond is a restored version of the original Wright design, as Shipman had it filled in after 1931. Wright had wanted the water to flow through the house, then over the cliff and pumped back to the pond, however Isabelle objected and the water was recirculated from the pond alone. We have restored the plantings with evergreens as Wright envisioned on his original plan. Native water plants are planted in the bog areas to provide a balanced ecosystem and keep the pond water clean. Gradually we are bringing back the small round lake stone that was around the pond in the Martin’s day.
Wright conceived of the main house, known as the Isabelle Martin House, as two houses – the left and right ends – connected by a second story bridge which floats above a transparent ground floor that encourages stunning views through the house to the lake and sky beyond. Long, low horizontal lines are sympathetic with the cliff strata and lake horizon while overhangs and cantilevered balconies break the vertical face of house walls, Wright’s famous “breaking the box.”