Today marks the end of our two week trip through the mid-west chasing Frank Lloyd Wright. Our travels have taken us from the Oak Park region of Chicago to Pittsburgh driving through parts of four states: Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania. This afternoon we board the plane for our return flight to San Francisco. For the past few days we’ve been wandering the small towns of the Laurel Heights region of Southwest Pennsylvania, including the towns of Dunbar, Connellsville and Dawson. There is so much to discover in small town America. More on some of those adventures in up-coming posts. Yesterday our adventures took us to the Cathedral of Knowledge on the University of Pittsburgh campus and to the top of Mt. Washington by way of the incline. The view from the top is probably the best view of the city and the three rivers. The temple of knowledge has a number of rooms decorated to represent different countries of the world. We spent a good two hours exploring some of the rooms, which are open to the public on certain days. Being Sunday classes were not in session. At the visitor information station on the first floor you can obtain a key and an audio tour to visit many of the rooms.
We arrived at Falling Water this morning for our 8:30 tour. The site is an eight minute drive from our B&B in Ohiopyle. This is small-town rural America by-the-way. Our innkeeper, Conrad has pigs, chickens and guinea hens. A rooster is crowing as I write this and the freight train is rumbling along the river. We stopped at the Ohiopyle Bakery for coffee and muffins on the way to Falling Water. We also got sandwiches for lunch, although the visitor center at Falling Water has a cafe.
We signed up for the in-depth tour which starts at 8:30. Photography is permitted on the in-depth tour but not on the standard tour. Those photos are on my laptop at the moment and I’ll need to find a good WiFi connection before I can share them.
The house was built for the Kaufmanns, of Kaufmann’s Department Store fame. When they selected the site little did they know that they would be living with the waterfall rather than looking at it. Wright’s desire was for the waterfall to become “an integral part” of their everyday lives.
The House, built in 1936, is a marvel of architectural design, with its cantilevered platforms extending out over the water.
Falling Water is owned by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Open for tours daily except Wednesday.