Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's Masterpiece!

I have visited Fallingwater twice so far. And I have little doubt that I will visit it a couple more times in the next twenty years or so. I have always admired the home for it's astounding beauty and elegant design. I have studied much about it's construction and history and had wanted to visit it long before I was actually able to do so.

At one point about 12 years ago, I found myself in Detroit with a free weekend on my hands. I knew the Weltzhiemer Usonian home was in Oberlin, OH, and not too far a distance. I made it to Oberlin and enjoyed visiting the home there, and I was seriously considering driving over to Mill Run, PA to visit Fallingwater. But a blizzard was pummeling Western Pennsylvania and I decided it would be smarter to wait for better weather. Although, it would have been beautiful to see Fallingwater in the snow.

It was a few more years before I was able to visit Fallingwater. My father's family hails from West Virginia and I was visiting the area with my mother and my siblings. Since we were going to be in the general area, I  told them that I had one request for our trip and one request only, that we visit Fallingwater. My family has little interest or knowledge of architecture and none of them knew what Fallingwater was. But, they all agreed to go.

It was a spring day when we were there and it was raining lightly. But the facility is well prepared for the weather and supplied everyone with umbrellas. I like that you cannot see any part of the home from the visitor center and it is only revealed when you walk the winding path down the hill through the forest. The beauty of the location is simply amazing. As the building came into view, my family was in awe of it's beauty!

We spent the next two hours on a guided tour of the home and guest house. Once finished, they all thanked me for introducing them to Fallingwater as they probably would not have known about it otherwise.

Myself, I loved the tour. I took over 100 photos of the home, inside and out. On the extended tour, you are allowed to take photos of the interior, on the shorter tour you cannot. The house is actually smaller than you might think and the ceilings are quite low. The living room really isn't very large. However, the balconies on each side add quite a lot of usable space.

There is no one thing that I specifically or particularly like about the home more than anything else. It just all seems to work together, how it works with the site, clinging to the side of the hill and extending out over the stream. I have wondered what Wright's inspiration was for the design? He had always emphasized horizontal features in his designs. In the picture above you can see the mass of the rock ledge under the home and how each floor or balcony and parapet mimic the mass of the rock ledge. Maybe that was his inspiration. But it is still very interesting, like a spark of genius that propelled him to conceive the design.

And it is a masterpiece! If you have ever wanted to visit Fallingwater, I strongly reccommend you take the steps to make it happen. You won't be dissappointed!

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