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fallingwater

fallingwater, by Frank Lloyd Wrightfallingwater, by Frank Lloyd Wright

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The drive to our first stop Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright in Mill Run, Stewart Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania is a surprisingly quick ~270 mile drive across pretty much the whole state of Pennsylvania, almost entirely across US Interstate 76 West. It wasn’t long before religious texts and scriptures painted on unused billboards and the sides of deteriorating barns line the highway:

Everyone shall give account of himself to god.”

Who rules your life? Jesus Christ or self?”

The further we get into Central Pennsylvania the more pronounced the Appalachian Mountain range becomes. I’ve become so enamored by these Ancient Ridgelines. Eons ago this mountain range would have rivaled the current Swiss Alps or Rocky Mountains. Nowadays, they still feel gargantuan, eminence from the shadow of it’s former self. Yet, I know my two legs and feet could climb them with the pair of Keen boots I have in the car, and a backpack full of water and stomach full of trail mix.

I speed my little green Subaru hatchback alongside them, rubber tires slowly disintegrating. They leave cancerous microscopic bits and pieces of itself as they wear along the asphalt road. The bits and pieces unconsciously wait for rain water to wash them away to contaminate the soil of the trees on the mountain I’m admiring. They will reside for further eons. But I try not to think about this.

dining roomdining room

Fallingwater itself was one of the most spellbinding works of art I have ever experienced in person. You walk through a beautiful garden before rounding a corner where the house jumps out at you from the wooded rhododendron blanketed valley. It’s integrated with the landscape and stone, the terraces of the house mimicking Bear Run, the geologic formation it’s built on top of. It has rained the last 4 days in row, and you can tell by the threatening force of the water rushing underneath the house.

From everything they told me, the house is quintessential Frank Lloyd Wright. Compression and release, everything built in, furniture designed by him. Much of it feels much more modern than the time period it was actually made, as nearly all modern architecture I’ve ever experienced has been influenced by him.

Having recently purchased a home for the first time, I have been intrigued by interior design and attempting to make the most out of our small, utilitarian space in more meaningful ways. Experiencing Fallingwater, where every square inch of the space is rendered with intent is nothing short of inspiring in that regard. Postcard images do not begin to do it justice.

kitchenkitchen

The house is plauged with maintenance issues, as it is currently undergoing seven million dollars worth of renovations. The tour guide wasn’t shy about talking about it and it’s evident from the scaffolding in front of the guest house and absorbent towels over furniture in certain rooms. The house is 89 years old and one of the most iconic historic homes in America, and is a modern marvel of it’s time. Maintenance costing a pretty penny is unavoidable.

bathroombathroom

I’m astounded to learn that the house has welcomed guests such as Frida Kahlo and Albert Einstein. Its art collection inside was also notable. It includes some outdoor statues that were covered due to weather and temperature, numerous Picasso prints, Japanese Woodblock prints, a Diego Rivera painting, a stunning 15th century wood carving in Mrs. Kaufman’s bedroom, amazing furniture, and much more.

fallingwater from afarfallingwater from afar

Plenty has been said about this architectural marvel and its history that I don’t wish to regurgitate. Be sure to experience this magnificent house in person. I love that one of the countries most treasured works of architectural design is nestled in the woods of the Keystone State.

pittsburgh skylinepittsburgh skyline

We arrive in Pittsburgh after sitting in standstill traffic on the bridge and arrived with just enough sunlight to take pictures of the skyline on the observation desks along Grandview Avenue. The weather couldn’t make up it’s mind today and we are welcomed to this stunning view of a city in a valley and it’s rivers and bridges with heavy but transient sleet as the light escapes and night falls.

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