Fallingwater in the rain

I’ve long wanted to see Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, and finally had the chance last weekend. It did not disappoint.

My only regret is that visitors aren’t permitted to photograph inside the house, which is visually stunning at every turn. So now my new challenge is to find a way to get permission – or an assignment – to shoot the interior at Fallingwater. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this little walk around the exterior.

Pittsburgh retailer Edgar Kaufmann, for whom the Fallingwater house was built, owned 1600 acres that were preserved from timber harvesting and first used as a summer camp for his employees. In 1934 Kaufmann asked to Wright design a house on the property with a view of the falls on Bear Run Creek. Wright surprised his client by designing the house over the falls, incorporating the natural environment into the structure of the house itself.

In 1963 Kaufmann’s son donated the house and all its furnishings (also designed by Wright) to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, to be preserved as a museum. The property in its entirety remains not only a testament to a visionary architect, but a magnificent example of American eastern hardwood forest.


  1. Pam September 15, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Picture perfect!

  2. mike daly September 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Dennis: as always, your work is both exceptional and inspirational, thank you.

    Have you thought of adding music and presenting this in music video/slide show format?

  3. Karlie September 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    Excellent photos! We had a coffee table book all about this house when I was a kid and I think it is just stunning.

  4. Tony Constable September 16, 2011 at 5:05 am #


  5. Holly September 16, 2011 at 6:11 am #

    Visionary design indeed. Fabulous. But I always thought if the client wanted a view of the falls, he wasn’t exactly getting one if his house was right ON it.

  6. dennis September 16, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Thanks all. @ Holly, that also is a thing I wondered about but after visiting the house, no longer. Boulders that are part of the natural landscape are allowed to penetrate the house interior and one of them has a small flow of water at least part of the year (it’s redirected to the stream by a channel in the floor). Also you may notice in the 5th photo there’s a staircase from inside the house that leads to the water’s surface, which is visible from many places in the house. Although you can’t see the falls directly, you can hear them and sense their presence intimately.

    It’s another way Wright surprises – not by doing the obvious, but by finding the most organic design solution. That was the theme he persistently used in defining his own work. See http://www.pbs.org/flw/legacy/essay1.html

  7. Colleen September 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    These photos are just stunning!

  8. Angela Radziszewski October 5, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    The pictures are absolutely stunning. Wish I could follow you on some of your journey’s. All I can say is……Wow!

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