Frank Lloyd Wrights Fallingwater

Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
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Trip End Dec 31, 2014


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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

We have had a couple of days of some pretty serious weather here in the Laurel Highlands.  Lots of rain, thunder, wind and lightning.  Of course, that didn't stop Ken from going golfing yesterday!   He claims he wasn't the only one dodging the weather on the course, I'm just going to have to take his word for it since I was 'home' save, dry and warm.

Today was hot, humid and dry so we headed over for a tour of one of  Architect Frank Lloyd Wrights most widely acclaimed works,  Fallingwater.  It was about a 40 minute drive from our campground.  We had made our reservations ahead of time as they request you do. ( here's a tip: do them by phone rather than over the internet...that way you save the $2 per person reservation fee, you just pay when you show up...)

The home was designed in 1935 by Wright for the family of Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann.  The key to the setting of the house is the waterfall over which it is built.  On our tour we would learn that the Kaufmann family originally wanted the house built to have a view of the falls, but Wright would have a different plan in mind!  The Kaufmann's in fact adopted Wright's original scheme with few changes.  Perhaps better than any single work , Fallingwater exemplifies Wright's concept of organic architecture.  It is indeed a harmonious union of art and nature. 

The main house was completed in 1937 with a guest and service wing added in 1939.  Fallingwater was constructed of sandstone quarried on the property and was built by local craftsmen. The Kaufmann family, it was just the parents and one son who never married, used Fallingwater as a weekend retreat from 1937 until 1963.  At that time the house, its contents and grounds were all entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.  It is, in fact, the only major Wright work to come into the public domain with its setting, original furninshings and artwork intact. 

Our $20 guided tour allowed us entry into most of the house.  It really is quite something.  The house has electricity but no air conditioning and I've gotta say that some of the rooms were pretty toasty!  Unfortunately the $20 tour does not allow photos to be taken inside.  For that you have to take the $65 tour!  After about an hour on the tour we were able to wander the grounds at our leisure to take as many exterior photos as we wished. 

I think I may have mentioned that it was hot?  It was in fact the hottest day of the year so far and unseasonably so, per the locals.  The temperature was in the high 90's and the humidity was almost unbearable.  We had originally planned to have a picnic lunch at a nearby state park after our tour followed by some hiking.  We chose instead to 'picnic' in the truck, parked in the shade with the AC on!  The hiking was replaced by a visit to a local winery followed by a visit to  Fort Necessity National Battlefield.



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