Trip Start Jul 24, 2007
Trip End Aug 24, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Sunday, August 12, 2007

In the morning we got to sleep in at our wonderful hotel, in our comfy beds until we had to leave for our tour of Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Mill Run, PA. It has always been a dream of mine to go to Fallingwater, I have seen pictures of it for years and have always wanted to see it. However, since it is located in rural Pennsylvania I never really thought that I would. When we went to see Wright's house in Oak Park (see Chicago day 4 blog) I saw a flier for it. Upon checking the map I noticed that it would be possible for us to see when we had to cut over and down on our way to Nashville. I was so excited!!

So the time finally came that we were going to go to Fallingwater. We drove the 45 min. there from our hotel and checked in with our reservations. That put us into group #38 to go on the house tour. Every 15-20 minutes they would call a group to go down the path towards the house and meet their tour guide. After a quick lunch at the Fallingwater Cafe our number was called and we walked to the house. Our guide, Amber, gave us a little history about the house owned by the Kaufman family before we went inside. She explained that the house was built for the family in the 1930's to be their summer home. The Kaufman's only son was the one who came up with the idea of having Wright design and build the home. He had read his autobiography and was impressed with his work. He told his parents about his idea, had them read the autobiography and then they agreed to hire Wright. Junior also worked as an intern for Wright at his school Taliesin. Wright allowed Junior to help with a few of the design details of the house like the insides of the closets and some of the bookshelves. The house was built in 2 years and later a guest house was also built.

The outside of the house was just gorgeous, the way that Wright used sandstone and concrete with the already existing boulders and water. In fact, if you have never seen the house it actually sits over a waterfall. It's pretty amazing. Today you could never get permits to build a house like this; people would think you were crazy. In fact, people did think Wright was crazy when they found out about his design, no one believed that it would stay in one piece. Today, it is still fully intact and stands as one of the most popular and celebrated works of architecture in the world. If you ever get a chance to travel to that area, take it! You won't regret it.

After our guide gave us the background of the house she led us through all the rooms in the main house and in the guest house. Sadly, we were only allowed to take pictures of the outside of the house, but we did buy postcards of the inside. Plus the outside is so pretty it's a good compromise. Amber told us when we were in the guest house that the most famous guest to ever stay in that room was Albert Einstein. It's pretty amazing to think that we were standing in the same room, next to the bed that Einstein slept on. Dad said he was sure we are smarter because of it. Outside the guest house was a swimming pool (with gross green water, from a spring unfortunately) and a car port. Wright didn't believe in garages, he thought that cars unlike horses could be left alone without running away, so they did not need to be completely enclosed. After our tour of all the rooms, bathrooms, living room, terraces and views we ended our tour in the carport turned movie theater. There we watched a film about the home, the Kaufman's son and the work of the conservancy group that maintains the house. The whole experience was quite delightful. Then we were turned loose, and allowed to roam the grounds around the house as much as we wanted until we returned to the visitor center. Mom, Dad and I took a little nature walk around the property before returning to look at the house one more time and taking a picture from the spot across the stream showing the most famous view of Fallingwater.

After leaving Fallingwater we got back on the road and drove until we were tired and hungry. We stopped to eat and then drove on to our hotel in Huntington, WV.
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