Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob

What a day! A big bucket list item achieved. Fallingwater has to be the most incredible house ever built. It was built in 1936. Edgar Kaufmann, the owner of a large Pittsburgh store, wanted a weekend and holiday house built on the land that had been in his family for a number of years, and where they all loved the waterfalls in Bear Run, the river that runs through the land. He expected Wright to design him a house looking towards the waterfall, instead Wright designed it over the waterfall. Everywhere in the house you hear the sound of falling water. The spaces are amazing, and almost all of the furniture is the original, all designed by Wright. Again no photos inside, but here are some of the outside. We took loads! Wright always aimed to have his houses look as if they were in harmony with the landscape around them, and when we saw the rock formation we could see why he designed the house as he did.

We spent ages there, just absorbing it all, walking round the grounds and looking at the house from different angles.

We then went onto Kentuck Knob a few miles away, a house Wright built for the Hagan family, friends of the Kaufmanns in 1953–56. This was a year round house with entertaining space. It is now owned by Peter Palumbo. It was very different from Fallingwater but also an amazing house. Such a pity no photos were allowed of the inside. Again we had lots of time to soak it all in. We also wandered round Palumbo’s rather odd ‘sculpture meadow’ which includes a bit of the Berlin Wall. The tour guide was such a character, a real American showman. He was so enthusiastic and really knew his stuff. When the house was built the whole area had been deforested, but the Hagans replanted the trees. Personally I wouldn’t have replanted trees in front of the house, obstructing the wonderful view over the Laurel Highlands!

Tomorrow we head off early for Buffalo and more FLW buildings. We might take a look at Niagara while we are there!

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