By Julia Smith-Eppsteiner
Flowers and trees are budding and so are the rhododendrons of famed Fallingwater, blooming pink and white. Are hash tags and LinkedIn updates clouding your mind lately? Let Frank Lloyd Wright bring you back down to earth. Let the stream leave you with peace of mind. And perhaps embrace the thigh-burner workout disguised in the beautifully suspended staircases of this remarkable edifice.
Wright visited Bear Run for the first time in December, 1934 to design a small vacation home for the Kaufmann family, the result of which was this wonderful architectural gem. Fortunately, the property has been preserved for the last fifty years by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and has remained open for all of us to call our home for at least couple of hours at a time — or longer if you attend an event at the renovated nineteenth-century barn at Fallingwater.
The truly unique aspect about this home is the integration of the building with its environment, inspired by Japanese architecture: the harmony of man and nature. The waterfall is not just there to view from the window, but to live with. This is a celebration of the natural world, the home blending seamlessly with the woods of Pennsylvania. The cantilevered terraces hover above the water, displaying clean lines that contrast gorgeously with the jaggedness of nature. Wright crafts organic design with copious windows and walls of glass that warm the sunlit space, as well as elements like the west terrace hatch that allows the sylvan sounds to flow inward.
Balancing the luscious green exterior is the southwestern design of the interior. The Ruschak living room sweeps with dark chestnut floors and deep sunset-toned pillows and rugs, fur throws crowning the already cozy feel. The streaming song of the waterfall can be heard from inside the daisy-filled study and guesthouse.
Be sure to purchase tickets to Fallingwater this season because this architectural wonder is always a destination for many travelers searching for beauty — especially when the sun comes out to play.