I’ve just spent time going through the photos from my visit to Fallingwater. Honestly, I feel like I should just post photos because my words clearly aren’t going to do justice to the place. As architecture goes, you can’t get much more iconic than this house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as one of his organic designs. As the website for the place says, The epitome of organic architecture, Fallingwater’s design symbolizes the harmony between people and nature.
I signed up for the house tour because that is literally the only way to get inside. COVID-19 protocols meant we were a tour group of 6 instead of 15 or 20 people, which totally worked for me. Less people getting in the way of my shots and way more time with each room, win/win. At one point, I had this entire huge space to myself as everyone else had moved on to the kitchen.
Let’s tour the space by area, so you can see the details. And then, when you reach the bottom of this post, scroll back up semi-slowly letting your eyes wander across the photos and you’ll see the color palette Wright used in the house.
As you come in the main door (I’d call it the front door, but it’s actually on the back side of the house), there’s a stereo and a cozy seating area. (I do have to admit the couch looks comfortable, but those low floor cushions would have to go if I lived here.)
Next up (we’re going in a clockwise direction) is the desk. I love this desk. I feel like I would write the great American novel if I sat here long enough. What you can’t see is the painstaking work some carpenter did to make the desk fit so exactly into the stone wall.
The main area has doors that open to balconies on either side, and between those and the corner windows, the sound of water is everywhere. It also felt a bit like living in a tree house to see all that greenery out every window on that side.
To the other side of the glass doors you see on the right (above) is another, smaller, seating area. The light in this area is beautiful and being next to the fireplace, I imagine it would be quite cozy in winter.
Yes, the fireplace gets its own photo. Mainly because of that cool red ball. Wright designed it to be filled with liquid and then you swing it over the coals to heat up the liquid. When Frank Lloyd Wright makes a teakettle, he makes it very right/Wright!
The last section of this room is the dining area with beautiful built-in credenzas. The table might seem on the smallish side, but not to worry…
The credenza on the left side hold extensions so that you can see more than a dozen people. When you don’t need that much room, the extensions are so well hidden, I had to look hard to find them.
Go back to that long couch photo and check out the windows in the corners. They are another Wright creation, so that pesky window frames didn’t get in the way of the view. This is a closeup of the windows in the kitchen, which have the same design.
The feature that I thought was most cool was this set of sliding glass partitions. They cover stairs that lead directly down to the water running under the house. This feature serves two purposes: you can dangle your feet in the water to cool off and the opening provides a cool breeze through the house.
One more “house tour only” view is this from the balcony on the right side of the long couches. It shows the striking architecture of the place so well. From that balcony, you can look straight down at the falling water that gives the house its name.
Two more outside shots to close out this little tour. Below is the house on approach, which anyone who visits the Fallingwater property can see. The living area showcased in my post is the lower of the two levels you see here.
And, finally, one last shot of this iconic place. I honestly could have stayed right here all day looking and listening and enjoying it all.
If You Go…
Fallingwater is not exactly close to a big city. Somerset might be the closest city, but don’t quote me on that. If you’re camping, Ohiopyle State Park is definitely the closest campground. If you’re in transit, they do have several RV/bus parking spaces that might come in handy.
You need a tour reservation to be admitted to the grounds. The self-guided exterior experience is a good way to walk the grounds and see the outside of the house. You can peer in the windows and walk right up to the front door and on one of the balconies. To get inside the house (and the guest house), spring for the Guided Architectural Tour. Well worth it, in my opinion.
Always all things at once, it remains as magical, as hallucinatory and as ethereal as a cascade of white water or an early morning mist.