This latest travel post comes to you from the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania! Filled with state parks featuring rafting, hiking, and camping, Western Pennsylvania is the perfect spot for outdoor adventures! And if camping isn’t really your thing, there are tons of small towns scattered throughout the highlands for those who enjoy the classic B&B or relaxing the day away in a charming cafe. No matter what your itinerary is though, I highly recommend making Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater a stop on your trip!
First things first, lets point out the most interesting if not the most identifying feature of Fallingwater: It is a house built over a waterfall. A WATERFALL! The house is truly part of the landscape. Located in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, this extraordinary house was designed by famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and built between 1936 and 1939. The house was designed for the Kaufmann family, owners of the Kaufmann Department Store in Pittsburgh.
Before visitng Fallingwater, I knew very little about the house, the architect who designed it, nor the family that occupied it. Why was the house built, let alone built over the waterfall? Well, I found out that the Kaufmann’s usually vacationed in the area and that their son had an interest in Wright’s ideas right around the time the family was looking to build a vacation home. Like the Kaufmann’s, Frank Lloyd Wright loved nature so they asked him to design their new home. Wright designed the house using a series of cantilevers so that the house could rest on top of a waterfall. While the Kaufmann’s initially thought that their house would have a view of the waterfall from downstream, Wright instead designed the house so that it would be one with the waterfall and vice versa.
Fallingwater was occupied by the Kaufmann family until 1963 when Edgar Kaufmann Jr. entrusted it to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Today, the house is enjoyed by many visitors each day and still remains as breathtaking as it was when it was first constructed. As I toured the house, it was amazing to be able to hear the constant rhythm of the water getting ready to crash over the edge of the rocks. Can you imagine what it was like to hear that 24/7? The house still maintains its original furniture and artwork, so it gave me the chance to really envision what it would have been like to live there. Be sure to check out Fallingwater during your next trip out East!
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” John Muir
Photos by Megan Coffroth