When Roo came to visit me a couple of weeks ago, we took one day to drive to, and visit, Fallingwater, the amazing Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece. It's tucked into the woods in Western Pennsylvania, not far from Ohiopyle, a state park I went to frequently as a teenager I'd never been to the house before, though, because my dad wasn't a fan. (Roo asked why I had never been taken on a school field trip there, which is a perfectly logical question. I guess Johnstown provided enough field trip fodder with all of the flood sites...).
Fallingwater was built on commission from the Kaufmanns, a still-well-known Pittsburgh family. They wanted a house with a view of the beautiful waterfall on their property. That's not quite what they got.
I remember hearing my dad say, when I was a teenager, that they ruined the waterfall by building the house on it. I get what he's saying, but now I see the unique beauty: there are a lot of pretty waterfalls in the woods of Pennsylvania. There aren't very many amazing houses built on top of waterfalls.
I liked the space and proportions of the house the most -- how Wright designed it so that someone lying in bed would look out over the tree line, and how the terraces beautifully thrust out into the woods. The furnishings seem dated, and not pleasingly so. I like the Wright room that's preserved in the Met much better as an interior space.
Mostly, when I was walking around, I thought what I'd set there: maybe a murder mystery? A social commentary comedy? It seems like a set for something, that's for sure. I wonder if it will pop up in my writing.
We really enjoyed our visit to Fallingwater. It's not on the beaten path, but once you get there, there's a lovely cafe and gift shop as well as the house itself. Well worth the trip!