Day One: Falling Water, Rising Mildew!
Today was the first day of our cross country road trip (some would refer to this as a grand questing adventure across the American Continent in search of cool new places… but let’s stick with road trip for brevity’s sake)! After far too many rest stops, our drive brought us from good ol’ New Jersey to Western Pennsylvannia, where we had the distinct pleasure of touring one of America’s most famous homes, Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater”. For the uninitiated, Fallingwater is a rather modern looking home nestled precariously above a waterfall in the woods that was built in the mid to late 1930’s. It utilizes a cantilever design and “organic architecture” to achieve perfect harmony with its surroundings. The home straddles natural boulders, which even come into the home in several rooms. Built-in, “clientproof” furniture adorns most rooms, and all of the materials and lighting were carefully chosen to bring the outside in, and to draw visitors of the home to the outdoors. Frank Lloyd Wright shared a few personality traits with the also late Steve Jobs. Wright had a vision and carried it out with exacting precision, even if bridge columns had to be torn down and rebuilt in the process. Things like corner windows, steel and glass construction, and beveled doors to not allow light to spill into rooms are all features of Fallingwater. Wright, like Jobs, knew what was best for the client, controlling every minor detail of any home he designed. This control allowed him to push boundaries and set new standards, but not always to the client’s approval. After his request for a larger desk to be built in his study was denied by Wright, the home’s owner once replied “this desk is not even large enough for a man to write out a check for his architect!”. Needless to say the owner soon had a larger desk. The home also developed water issues as well, of which the home’s owner stated “Fallingwater? More like Rising Mildew!”. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy manages the property and has done a fine job preserving this gem, even mitigating many of the water issues! Definitely worth a visit.
Stay tuned for more!