Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright Unites Architecture And Nature

Fallingwater: Frank Lloyd Wright Unites Architecture And Nature

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I enjoyed my recent  brief visit to Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. On my last day, after my early morning hike along the Allegheny River,  I checked out of my hotel. It was about a 4 1/2 hour drive back to my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. However I decided to drive a few mile out of my way  and visit the world famous Fallingwater house designed by the renowned  architect Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Located in Fayette County in the Laurel Highlands it was about  25 mile drive  south of Donegal on Interstate 76. The highway to Fallingwater took me through small towns, farmland, forest and made me feel like I had traveled back in time.  I arrived at the entrance around 11 a.m and was disappointed to learn that there were no inside tours available without a reservation. 

Of course, being this close to what the Smithsonian magazine said was one of the 28 places to see before you die, I had  stay and explore the grounds and at least catch a glimpse of this famous structure built atop a waterfall. So  I  parked my Jeep, checked out the trail maps at the visitor center,  and began my hike.

As soon as I  walked onto the trail I immediately felt  the love and respect of nature that the owners , Liliane and Edgar Kaufman of Pittsburgh,  and famous architect created. The trail took me past the rock formations that inspired Wright in his design of the house.

Wildflowers were growing along the trail as it meandered under a canopy of trees. Birds sang in the trees including this female cardinal.

The trail continued  past a large garden and 

down to to Bear Run, the stream  that brought the Kaufmans to this area and creates the waterfall which made the vacation home famous. 

Walking up from the stream on the trail I soon saw the famous house nestled in the trees. It really looked like it was a natural part of the landscape. 

The house was surrounded by gardens where beautiful native wildflowers like wild geranium and 

golden ragwort were in bloom.

It was very  disappointing walking around the house without being able to tour the interior. I have heard the architecture and furnishings are amazing. Hopefully I will see it on another visit. 

I was able to see the guest house, although it was undergoing repairs. 

I understand that one can stay here overnight and I think I might have to look into this.

It would be a truly amazing experience to fall asleep and awaken to the sound of the falling waters and singing of the birds in this natural sanctuary, and then take a dip in this pool. 

From above the house blended in perfectly with its natural setting.

I continued my exploration of  the exterior of the home, 

and it’s unique features, 

then continued on the trail as it  made it’s way back up the the visitor center. 

Along the way I walked through groves of rhododendrons, ferns,

and many wildflowers such as the native wild blue phlox  and 

the invasive meadow buttercup. 

Of course along the way I stopped at the overlook,

which provide the famous views of Fallingwater seen around the world. 

This home and its surrounding natural setting  is now a World Heritage Site because of its unique contribution to humanity and outstanding universal value.

There were many other trails on the property but I had a long ride home and had to leave. Walking back to my Jeep I reflected on this wonderful home in its natural setting and hoped to return someday and maybe spend the night in this magical place. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from my visit to Fallingwater. Falling Water May 17 2021. 

Fallingwater is a great blessing – one of the great blessings to be experienced here
on earth, I think nothing yet ever equalled the coordination, sympathetic
expression of the great principle of repose where forest and stream and rock and
all the elements of structure are combined so quietly that really you listen not to
any noise whatsoever although the music of the stream is there. But you listen to
Fallingwater the way you listen to the quiet of the country…
Frank Lloyd Wright

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