Friday, June 27, 2014

We did it Wright Today!

I am Still Homeschool Atheist Momma!

This week John and I are in Pittsburgh visiting our dear, dear friends Julie and family:  Natalie and Jacob and husband,  Dave. We have been friends with this family ever since John was about two years old when Julie and I met online at an atheist parenting site somewhere (I have NO idea which one!) and eventually met and become very good friends. While Julie's family was still living in Missouri the friendship was easy to maintain with frequent hour-long drives to each other's home. And now, since they have moved to Pennsylvania, STILL EASY TO MAINTAIN!  (*wink)

Between the two of us, Julie and I drag our delighted sons back and forth to each other's homes several times a year.

At the moment John John and I are visiting Julie and her family at their rural home just outside of Pittsburgh. The boys have been busy and happy all week; we barely see them! Swimming and hiking and playing!

Today Julie and I took the boys to a place that John has been wanting to see for months:  Fallingwater or Kaufmann Residence, a house situated forty+ miles south east of Pittsburgh. Designed by the brilliant architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935, this building is literally built over a waterfall on the Bear Creak in this small rural town of Fayette County Pennsylvania. This is a Bucket List kind of thing!

John is a lover of design and architecture and has wanted to see some of Frank Lloyd Wright's work ever since we read about him as a biography a few months ago while we were still living in Brisbane. We visited a "minor" FLW building in Springfield, IL, but Fallingwater is an icon of legendary design and John knows it!

While the outdoor images are stunning, (all of the outdoor pics in this post are my own), the indoor design is truly magnificent and seals the deal that this building is a work of art from the roof to the water. Pieces of art work include several pieces by Picasso, a few by Diego Rivera, ancient stone works from India, Mexico, and all over Europe, vases and bowls from rustic and rugged to priceless, incredible book collections, lavish fiber arts of every ilk, stamp art from ancient Japan, pieces given as gifts by FLW, pieces created by FLW, and furniture whose artistry and craftsmanship is breathtaking.  Truly.

I was unable to get any indoor images, so all of the indoor images here were taken from public sites on the internet, many taken by photographer Lee Sandstead

Bear Creek just as it hits the property
Bear Creek approaching the building.
That staircase leads directly into the Great Room.

Notice how the building is anchored right into the rock

This cool statue is highlighted by a serendipitous flash of sunlight

It is impossible to get a "bad shot".
The place is stunning!

This photo location is the iconic shot all tourists hope for!

Just across Bear Creek

The unique outdoor design is truly secondary to the inside!

The main room, dining room area.
The three shelves on the wall snake around to the left and down the left hand wall.
It is a STUNNING shelving system!
Also you can get a TEENY TINY idea of the range of sculpture and art from these next few pics.

Beautiful shelves in a little nook stairwell.
I wanted to spend the week reading books!

You can just see the beautiful fireplace on the right
in one of the bedrooms.
The limestone is all local, from within 500 feet of the place.

Mr. Kaufman's office space with cool cantilevered windows.
Also, note the desk on the right with a notch cut for the window to open

Back to the main great room, this fireplace is gorgeously wrought from local limestone
And includes natural layers of stone on the floor.
The red ball swings over the fire and is for mulled wines.
See the continuing three-shelf piece along the ceiling.

Also in the Great Room, one of many patios out the window,
This is a library area.
But books are plentiful through the house.
Another area for guests to lounge
and talk of important things.
Or neck.

John and I with Fallingwater in the background.

The drive out to Fallingwater is a real commitment, but it is SO worth it. We spent nearly three hours on this beautiful spot in the Allegheny Mountains. John and Jacob were entranced with the place and, if given half a chance, would be there tonight playing hide and seek with all of their best friends!


I missed the truly heartwarming shot of the boys walking away with arms around each other's shoulders, buddy hug style, but they turned around and I got this one and I'm OK with that.

Julie and I just sigh with love for these best buddies.

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  1. My family went to Fallingwater as part of a homeschool field trip a handful of years ago, and it was just as beautiful as you show. I'm glad you had a nice time.

  2. wonderful place - I am also a fan of FLW (though I understand that some of his buildings have problems) the direction he was moving in - to blend a building with its natural surroundings - is a beautiful idea. Glad that you travelling folks had a great time!


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