Lipsey’s efforts yield a remarkable legacy
The announcement of the retirement of Stanford Lipsey as publisher of The Buffalo News affords the opportunity to acknowledge his personal legacy in the areas of historic preservation and economic development for our community, in particular in regard to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex.
Following the incorporation of the Martin House Restoration Corp. in September 1992, Lipsey was elected to the first class of directors in early 1993. He provided strategic vision for the restoration effort until his retirement from the board in 2006, after which he continued to serve as an ambassador for the project both near and far. His dynamic presence, intuitive leadership, tenacity and generosity are all part of his remarkable legacy at the Martin House.
Before the restoration effort began, Wright’s masterpiece was down on its luck: abandoned for decades, partially demolished, a neglected eyesore in a residential section of a city also beset by hard times. A comprehensive, multiyear restoration of the complex has seen the expansion of the project from a single structure (the main Martin House) to the re-creation of the entire historic site, and Lipsey is due much of the credit.
Early on, he was a driving force behind an important acquisition, helping to secure the purchase of the Barton House with funding from The Buffalo News, M&T Bank and Rich Products. In recent years, Stan and Judi Lipsey personally funded the acquisition of the Gardener’s Cottage, the final missing piece of the Wright-designed structures associated with the complex, as well as the construction of a contemporary greenhouse used to support the activities of the estate.
Beyond his personal generosity, Lipsey was instrumental in securing significant public and private funding. Now, supported with millions of dollars from federal, state and county governments, and matched on an almost equal basis with private dollars, this project has captured the hearts and minds of the community.
As the Martin House nears the completion of its fundraising and restoration goals, we salute Lipsey. Simply put, the Martin House restoration effort would not be where it is today without his driving spirit.
John N. Walsh III
Mary F. Roberts
Martin House Restoration Corp.