8 Facts about Falling Waters of Frank Lloyd Wright That You Did Not Know About

Nestled exquisitely in the sleepy and mysterious forests of Pennsylvania, Falling Waters exhibits an awe-striking beauty of Modern architecture. Commissioned by Edgar J. Kaufmann, an affluent departmental store owner, the building was both designed and constructed by the world-famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Even though this architectural masterpiece is quite famous among the tourists, still, many people do not know much about it. So, if you are one of them, then here are some interesting facts that can help you in this aspect.

Photo by Kirk Thornton on Unsplash
  • It Helped Frank Wright to Get Back in Track

Due to his architectural style and creativity, Frank Lloyd Wright has constantly been considered by many as one of the greatest architects of all time. However, during the time of the Great Depression, Wright could only build a few buildings, which made the critics say that he has lost his magical touch.

Nevertheless, during this time, Kaufmann came in Wright’s life both as a friend and a blessing. After getting acquainted in 1934, the wealthy store owner asked him to build the Falling Waters house as a summer camp for his family. With the construction of this architectural magnum opus, he proved the whole world wrong.

  • No One Knew That The House Would be Built on a Waterfall

To make his creation more charming and enthralling, Frank Lloyd Wright had decided to build the Falling Waters on a scenic waterfall. However, surprisingly, no one in the Kaufmann family knew about it. They, especially, Edgar J. Kaufmann, thought that Wright would design their summer house in the riverbank, in front of the waterfall.

Thus, naturally, he was quite astonished to see that his country estate was perched atop a waterfall. However, he liked the idea of making his home a part of Mother Nature. So, he agreed with him.

  • You Cannot See the Waterfall From the House

Contrary to the popular belief, no one can actually see the waterfall from Falling Waters Frank Lloyd Wright. However, as it is located right beneath the house, you can certainly hear the sound of water. To make the whole staying experience even more natural and convenient, Wright also used local sandstone to construct its walls and rooms.

So, when inside, you will never feel that you are inside of a man-made house. It would almost seem like you are roaming outside in the forest.    

  • Wright Wanted to Cover the House in Golden Leaf

While designing the Falling Waters Pennsylvania, Frank Lloyd Wright decided to go for a natural and rustic look. Therefore, he decided to use only two colors, light ochre and Cherokee red, to paint the room. However, Wright did not really wish for it at first. He wanted to make the house look a lot more aesthetic and ostentatious. So, he proposed Kaufmann to coat the house in gold leaf.

However, the Kaufmann family thought that gold coating would be a little too extravagant for a country estate. For the same reason, they also rejected his second suggestion of using white mica. Nevertheless, they, at last, opted for ochre to make the home look more close to nature.

  • Falling Waters Inspired the Novel ‘The Fountainhead’ to a Certain Extent

One of the best fictions of all time, ‘The Fountainhead’ of Ayn Rand, is known to be inspired by both Frank Wright and Falling Waters. The main protagonist of the novel, Howard Roark, is an architect, just like Wright. Moreover, he had constructed several architectural pieces, which resembles the country estate of the Kaufmanns’ quite strikingly.

Primarily, Ayn Rand used the phrase ‘Second-Hand Lives’ as a title of the novel. However, later, to pay her homage to the house, she changed it to the ‘The Fountainhead’.

  • You Cannot Take Photos Inside It

Just like its exterior, the interior of this beautiful house is also quite phenomenal and enthralling. However, unfortunately, you cannot take any photos here, as it is prohibited for two proper reasons. Firstly, Falling Waters Frank Lloyd Wright gets more than 150,000 visitors every year. Therefore, if everyone started clicking pictures, then the interior of the house would get cramped.

Secondly, while clicking pictures, all of your attention would be on your camera. Therefore, it will be difficult for you to savor the beauty of the house properly. So, if seen from a general viewpoint, this no-cameras-inside rule is quite a good one.   

  • The Building is a Fan of Education and Art

The Kaufmann family was a great lover of education and art. Therefore, they kept a lot of art collections in their summer house, Falling Waters Pennsylvania. Therefore, if you come here, then you will be able to see some excellent paintings and artifacts from Asia, North and South America, and Europe.  To continue its support for education and art, the house conducts numerous programs, which is an excellent piece of news for the art aficionados.

  • Falling Water Just Became a World Heritage Site in 2019

The Falling Waters house was constructed in 1937, and, since then, it has received more than 10 lakhs of visitors. Nevertheless, UNESCO included it to its list of World Heritage Site in the year of 2019, despite its fame, beauty, and overall popularity.

Due to its unparalleled beauty and uniqueness, Falling Waters has been attracting visitors since its inception. Therefore, if you are thinking about traveling in Pennsylvania, then do not forget to visit this place at least once during your stay.