Fallingwater

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Continuing our ride through western Maryland and into southwestern Pennsylvania (see On the Road), we reached Fallingwater in Mill Run, PA with a few minutes to spare before our 10am tour.

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Fallingwater, “one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most widely acclaimed works, was designed in 1935 for the family of Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar Kaufmann Sr”. (comments taken from Fallingwater literature).

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Wright designed and built the house to rise above the waterfall rather than face it.  Fallingwater “exemplifies Wright’s concept of organic architecture: the harmonious union of art and nature”_MG_9080

Constructed between 1936 and 1939, the home was made of sandstone quarried on the property and was built by local artisans.  The stone serves to separate reinforced concrete trays that were cantilevered over the stream.

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Our guided tour (no indoor photography allowed) lasted about an hour and while a bit rushed, was fascinating.  We enjoyed hearing about Wright’s architectural themes, the extensive process involved in making this masterpiece, and the occasional design disagreements he had with the Kaufmanns.  New York Times architecture critic Paul Goldberger called Fallingwater Wright’s “most sublime integration of man and nature”.

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Fallingwater was the weekend home of the Kaufmann family from 1937 until 1963 when Edgar Kauffmann, Jr entrusted the house, it’s contents and grounds to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.  The home was opened to the pubic in 1964 and over 5 million people have toured the home since that time.

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After our tour we walked the trail to the Visitors Center, Museum Store, and Cafe.

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We enjoyed lunch in the environmentally friendly cafe with food that was healthy and locally sourced.  Reusable dishes and utencils! Recycling! and a relaxing view.

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If you are anywhere near this National Historic Landmark, I urge you to go.  Definitely a highlight to our trip.

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Next Stop:  Pittsburgh!