FEATURE image: Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mill Run, Pennsylvania. March 2010. Author’s photograph.
Fallingwater is a house designed in 1935 by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959). It is in the Laurel Highlands of southwest Pennsylvania, about 70 miles away from downtown Pittsburgh.
The house was intended as a weekend retreat for the Edgar J. Kaufmann and family, owners of a Pittsburgh department store. The area of land had been a summer camp for the department store employees. Wright’s house, completed in 1937, is built partly over a waterfall on Bear Run, a tributary of the Youghiogheny River, in the Appalachians.
Bear Run is a tributary of the Youghiogheny River, in the Appalachians.
Fallingwater remained in the Kaufmann family until 1963. Inherited by Edgar Kaufmann Jr. in 1955 following his father’s death, he donated the home and its nearly 2,000 acres of surrounding natural habitat to a nonprofit trust called the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Since 1964, around 5 million visitors have made the pilgrimage to Fallingwater, one of America’s most famous modern homes. The house and grounds receive over 160,000 visitors each year.
Fallingwater is over 5000 square feet. The walls are constructed from local sandstone. The rocky landscape is incorporated into the home itself such as its main fireplace. Each bedroom has an individual terrace and there are a sea of windows that open outwards to nature. A glass hatch on the main level finds a short stairway that descends to Bear Run below.
Updated 5.30.23. All photographs, videos & text: