-- Frank Lloyd Wright in an interview with Hugh Downs, 1954
Fallingwater, the residential masterpiece of great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was designed in 1936 for the family of Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann. Considered by some as the most famous private house ever built, Fallingwater epitomizes man living in harmony with nature. The house, set amid 5000 acres of natural wilderness, is constructed of local sandstone, reinforced concrete, steel and glass. It juts out over a waterfall on Bear Run, appearing as naturally formed as the rocks, trees and rhododendrons which embrace it.
The interior of Fallingwater remains true to Frank Lloyd Wright's vision as well, including cantilevered desks, earth-toned built-in sofas, polished stone floors, and large casement windows which allow the outdoors to pour in. The hearth of the soaring stone fireplace is actually a boulder on the hill, supposedly Mr. Kaufmann's favorite sunning spot before Fallingwater was built - the house was literally built around it. From the Great Room a set of stairs enables you to walk down and stand on a tiny platform in the middle of the stream.
Fallingwater was the weekend home of the Kaufmann family from 1937 until 1963, when the property was donated to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy by Edgar Kaufmann Jr. It still looks as it did when the family lived there - the only remaining great Wright house with its setting, original furnishings and art work intact. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, Fallingwater was also named by the American Institute of Architects in 2000 as the "Building of the Century."
Fallingwater ToursOver 2 million people have visited Fallingwater, located 90 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Fayette County, since it opened to the public in 1964.
45 minutes - 1 hour (allow 2 hours total to visit)
Children must be 6 or older
No photography permitted
Reservations are essential
Youth (6-12): $12
Grounds-only pass (no tour) $8
2 hours (8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.), children must be 9 or older
Still photography allowed
Advance ticket purchase required
Additional tours are also available, including a Sunset Tour, Sunday Brunch Tour, a private extended Focus Tour, Family Tour, Landscape Tour, and a number of special seminars.
* The above rates and times are subject to change. Please call (724) 329-8501 or visit the Fallingwater Web site for the most current rates and information.
Tips for Your Fallingwater Visit
- Advance ticket reservations or purchase are essential for all tours. Tickets may be purchased online, or you can make reservations by calling Fallingwater Visitor Services at 724-329-8501.
- Plan to book at least two weeks in advance for the best choice of tours and times.
- Fallingwater is closed on Wednesdays, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Fallingwater is also closed during the months of January and February.
Explore Fallingwater in the meantime by visiting the Fallingwater Photo Gallery.
1478 Mill Run Road
Mill Run, PA 15464
© Kimberly & Albrecht Powell. Licensed to About.com. All Rights Reserved.
Fallingwater photos copyright © Robert P. Ruschak and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Used with Permission.