Photo credit: Courtesy of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
If you’re an avid Frank Lloyd Wright fan, you’ve probably already been to Fallingwater, the house he designed for the Kaufmann family from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Even if you’re not a follower of the famous architect, or if Southwestern Pennsylvania is a bit of a trek for you, consider adding Fallingwater to your next travel itinerary—or making it a destination.
The Kaufmanns owned Kaufmann’s Department Store, a popular place to shop in the 1930s. The family—Edgar Kaufmann, his wife, Liliane, and their son, Edgar junior—lived in the city but loved to vacation in the Laurel Highlands outside of Pittsburgh.
Before the Great Depression, the Kaufmanns owned a summer camp for their employees, located along a mountain stream called Bear Run. When their employees no longer had time or money to go to the camp, the Kaufmanns decided make the summer camp their own country estate because they loved the area so much.
Interested in modern art and design, the Kaufmanns were intrigued by Wright’s ideas. A lover of nature, Wright knew the Kaufmanns wanted something very special so he decided to make the 30-foot waterfall on their property part of the new house . Fallingwater was built right over it.
Photo credit: Robert P. Ruschak, courtesy of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
In 1938 Fallingwater was on the cover of Time magazine. Today it’s a National Historic Landmark. If you’re a lover of architecture or a lover of nature—or both—it’s definitely worth your time to visit this beautiful setting for modern design that incorporates local materials.
By Marcia Davis