"Well, the World Has Seven Wonders...." Mill Run (Fallingwater) by Orchid

Mill Run (Fallingwater) Travel Guide: 6 reviews and 23 photos

I'm not sure that I'd vote for Fallingwater as the '8th Wonder of the World', as signs at the site exhort, but it is truly a special and spectacular place.

The world owes a debt to the Edgar Kaufmann Jr, only child of the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh, for leaving his wonderful family home to the Western Pennsylvania Consevancy, for everyone to enjoy. Indeed, the need to spend some $20 million on reinforcing the structure a few years ago means this gift has likely prevented the house from decaying slowly over time, as even the resources of a wealthy family might not have been sufficient to maintain it.

Falling water is the best known example of Wright's 'organic' style of architecture, which respected the natural environment and the characteristics of the site in the design of buildings. The house almost floats above the waterfall on Bear Run, its bold concrete cantilevers jutting out of the native sandstone, referencing their sedimentary layers.

Inside, the flagstone floors and the lightly framed windows let the surroundings inside in a way reminiscent of the architecture of Japan.Gazing out these windows, it is as if one is looking at a painting of the green, leafy forest surrounds.

Every room has its own terrace, so the natural world is always close by, though the doors can always be closed in a retreat to the cosy, almost cavelike interior, where the light is subdued, and hearths can be be set with warming fires.

The owners art collection is is a feature of the decor, and you will pass paintings by Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo, woodblock prints by Hiroshige & Hokusai and of course, Wright's distinctive built in furniture.

Fallingwater is thronged with visitors, and booking online is the best way to ensure that a place is available. One can choose the ordinary one hour tour (no interior photography allowed) at $22, or the longer 'in depth' tour, which visits a few more rooms, and allows interior photography 'for private use'.

That means that there are no interior shots here for you to view!

We stayed about an hours drive away at Polymath Park, where a stay in a real FLW house is possible.

  • Last visit to Mill Run (Fallingwater): Jun 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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