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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger


Recently I had the opportunity to visit one of the architectural wonders of the 20th century, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, about 70 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

While I’ve been to the private home that Wright designed for the Kaufmann Family in 1935 before, each time I visit I come away with a different appreciation for Wright’s genius.

During my most recent visit I was struck by Wright’s forward thinking. Constructed prior to World War II, nearly 90 years ago, the home looks like something that could easily have been designed in the 21st century, not the last one.

This may be because Wright’s influence on modern architecture throughout the world persists to this day. This is particularly true if you look at home designs in the southwestern United States, particularly in the Phoenix area. So, next time you’re in Scottsdale, AZ make sure to visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and laboratory, Taliesin West, which like Fallingwater is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Our guide at Fallingwater was very knowledgeable and shared that the Edgar Kaufmann, scion of the Pittsburgh department store family that bore his name, had the home built in the pristine Laurel Mountains as their summer “cottage” to escape the grime and haze that dominated the Pittsburgh skyline at the time.

Years after Kaufmann and his wife’s passing, their son, Edgar Jr. donated the home and the acreage on which it stands to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1963.

Fallingwater has been hailed as a masterpiece of 20th century architecture and a poll of members of the American Institute of Architects, named it the “best all-time work of American architecture”.

Fallingwater is on the verge of hosting its 7 millionth visitor! Some of the better-known visitors over the decades have been President Franklin Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Ingrid Bergman and Marlene Dietrich.

If you’ve not already visited Fallingwater I encourage you to do so and, while you’re in the area, pay a visit to another Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, Kentuck Knob that is only a few miles away.

For more information, please see the link to the Fallingwater website below.

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