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Falling Water: A Frank Lloyd Wright Home


For the past 3 years, I have been getting together with several women in my family for one weekend a year which we have dubbed, “Women’s Weekend.” Each year, we focus on a Frank Lloyd Wright structure as the pinnacle of our get-together. This year, we went to Falling Water which is located in Mill Run, Pennsylvania.
In 1936, Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned by Edgar J. Kaufman, a wealthy department store owner to design a summer home for him. Kaufman's son had spent some time studying at Taliesan in Spring Green, Wisconsin. It is thought that Wright and the Kaufman's developed a friendship and respect for one another. If you are not familiar with Wright’s work, he had a wonderful knack of making his structures flow with nature, as not to impede the beauty around it. His organic style brought the outside inside the house. The property surrounding Falling Water is thick with forestation, located in the Appalachian Mountains and a stream (Bear Run) that runs through it. These elements did not hinder Wright from his creativity, in fact this home is considered to be the masterpiece of his entire body of work. This home was completed in 1939.
When we arrived at the Visitor’s Center, we were anxious with anticipation to see this beauty. There was a relatively long nature walk just to get to the home. One we arrived a tour guide gave us a lot of really great historical information about the house and the area. The first thing that I noticed aside from the sheer beauty of the home and the nature around it was the loud rush of water running just under the home. The video link I have attached will give you a virtual tour of the home.
One very impressive thing about this home is the several cantilevered decks that extend out in different directions from the home. You can see the rushing water from every deck. Once you are inside the home, there are many unique things that you can begin to recognize as “Frank Lloyd Wright’s style”, such as the low ceilings in hallways. Wright believed that the hallways were not meant to spend much time in so he made it plain and small. But once you enter a new room the ceiling is much higher, giving the illusion of greatness, because it opens up. The windows are so very different without framework they are built so they will not detract from the nature outside. One interesting fact, you can hear the water rushing in every room in the house.
One of my favorite rooms in this house was the living room. As with most of Wright’s homes the living room is the center and is open and grand. Another characteristic of a Wright home is the built in seating along the walls. The other furniture in the home is a bit more comfortable than the stuff Wright himself designed.
There is so much to see in this home! I am hoping that if you are interested in learning about Frank Lloyd Wright you will do some research of your own to learn about this incredible man who brought so much to architecture. Wright’s work is all over the world. I bet you can find a structure with his influence somewhere near you! There is also a great book I think you would enjoy called, Loving Frank and it gives a lot of great information about his life. All in all, I have really enjoyed the Women’s weekends which have so much to do with Frank Lloyd Wright and I have learned a lot. If you are ever in Pennsylvania I strongly encourage you to check out this exquisite home!!! You won’t regret it, I promise.



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