Sunday, August 18, 2013


During our visit in Pittsburgh, we spent a day touring Fallingwater, Stop #26 on our summer tour.

This house was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935 for the family of Edgar Kaufman, Sr., President and CEO of Kaufman Department Stores.  It is located in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania, 43 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. 

  The house is nestled into a hilly, heavily forested area on Bear Run Creek.
Beautiful gardens line the walkway to the house, which is visited by over 150,000 persons each year. 
The American Institute of Architects, in 1991, voted this house  the "best all time work of American architecture."
The design is very creative and uses the natural setting of rock and stream within the structure.  Rather than building the house beside the stream, Wright had it constructed in and over the waterfall.
The Kaufmans had originally proposed a budget to Wright of $20,000 to $30,000 for the construction of the house.  The total cost came to $155,000 which would be about $2.6 million in 2012 dollars!
The visitor is greeted with this unique handwashing fountain.
In his design for Fallingwater, Wright made extensive use of cantilever construction, that is concrete overhangs without visible supports.  Numerous engineers and other architects argued that it couldn't be done, but Wright persisted.
Fallingwater served as the week-end home of the Kaufman family from 1937 to 1963.
In 1964, Edgar Kaufman, Jr. donated the home to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy which opened the home to the public.
It is, indeed, a wonder of the architectural world!