My intention with this project was to remain committed to opportunities for discovery exclusively in Los Angeles – but from time to time, I will get lost – hence the category – Off the Beaten Path. This is one of those moments, so I do apologize, but I believe this is worth the temporary change in direction.
On a recent trip to Pittsburgh, I had the opportunity of all opportunities:
Seeing a piece of art designed by America’s most famous architect – Frank Lloyd Wright. Reportedly, extremely difficult yet enormously talented, Wright was a visionary. The house, known as Fallingwater – is considered his greatest masterpiece. If you can imagine a home in the woods, built into the side of a hill, over a waterfall mind you – this is what he created and accomplished. The house appears to hover over the waterfall – no kidding. The home looks like it grew out of the hill like a tree. What an imagination!
Wright was hired by Edgar Kaufmann Sr. (president of Kaufmann’s department stores) to build a family retreat on the property he owned outside of Pittsburgh.
We all know what a diving board looks like right? That’s what the outdoor space resembles.
A flat plank anchored on one end – airplane wings follow the same design concept. Known as a cantilever design, the home was a three-year project, plagued by Kaufmann’s concerns about the structural integrity, and Wright – full of unshakeable confidence and uncontrollable arrogance, didn’t do much to qualm his concerns. Kaufmann’s worry proved to be justified as the home began to sag shortly after completion. After Kaufmann Jr. donated the house to the state, tension cables were added in 2002 to strengthen the structure, which prevented any further sagging.
Wright also designed most of the furniture with seating built into the living spaces. The home has 4 bedrooms and baths, totaling just less than 6,000 square feet. The clever part of his use of space is that only 2,800 of it is enclosed. The other half is the outdoor and balcony areas. Off of the main living area are stairs leading down to a natural stream running directly under the house – this place is completely insane.
The living space is open with very few walls – another one of his pioneering concepts of that time. Albert Einstein was a house guest. When you enter the home, you would never guess that it was designed & built almost 75 years ago. Frank Lloyd Wright was a creative beast (Beast – my way of saying – one of a kind).
Unfortunately, you can’t take interior photos – but trust me, if you find yourself in Pitt for at least 48 hours – this is an absolute bucket list suggestion. I am dead serious. You won’t see a house like this anywhere else.