Fallingwater

By Mark

Yes, after missing the last two weeks due to sheer laziness, or lots of work—you pick which one you believe, I’m back.  Last weekend we took a trip to Morgantown West Virginia in order to watch the OU Sooners play fooseball.  It was a surprisingly fun visit as the fans tailgating in the acres of parking lots surrounding the stadium were incredibly friendly.  Not at all what we had been led to believe.

All of the hotels in the town were booked solid, so we stayed up in Uniontown, PA.  That was a different kind of experience.  Anyway, to get there you have to drive through the mountains by Ohiopyle.  One of the most famous architectural landmarks in the country is also right there—Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.  

Built in the great depression for what was even then an outrageous sum, this compound defines “organic architecture” even today.   He designed and built it from local materials and it is built into and around the rocks and waterfalls of the hills.  I’ve wanted to visit for years and so I reserved our tickets online at: http://www.fallingwater.org/

Unfortunately, because of the fact that the furnishings are original and fragile and the volume of people so great, they don’t let you take photos inside during the tour.

Looking back in through the windows

Looking back in through the windows

Afterwards though, you can wander around the external terraces and especially around the grounds.  Now, FLW loved design most of all.  From a structural engineering perspective, he didn’t do so well.  The flat roof and huge terraces attract a lot of water.  They had over 50 leaks when they first moved in and still have water issues today.  The huge cantilevered terraces didn’t quite have enough support and started to sag.  Luckily the owner brought in an outside firm and they installed extra supports during construction, which mad FLW mad, but probably saved the house. 

The entryway fountain with soap on a rope for the guests

The entryway fountain with soap on a rope for the guests

Water and stone work together everywhere you look.  It was a rainy and misty day, which softened everything.  There is a trail specifically designed to get you to this view. 

Up in the hills, the first signs of fall were already visible, even before the equinox. 

Winter is coming

Winter is coming

We stopped in the town of Ohiopyle for lunch and to see the waterfall.  Even though the water levels were down, the power was impressive to see and to hear.  

I can highly recommend making the four hour drive there to see it.  Just get your tickets well in advance.