Fallingwater is one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most widely acclaimed works. Designed in 1935 for the family of Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar J. Kaufmann, the house is strikingly perched over a waterfall. Edgar J. Kaufmann Jr. once described Fallingwater as "a great lantern in the forest, giving shape to the dark."
Fallingwater is located on a 4,935-acre natural heritage area, Bear Run Nature Reserve, which is named for Bear Run, the stream that runs through the Reserve and carries two of Pennsylvania's highest state designations: wild and scenic river and exceptional value stream. In 1963, Edgar Kaufmann Jr., son of the house's patron, entrusted the house and approximately 1,500 acres surrounding it to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Over time the Conservancy assembled enough parcels of land to create a 20-mile trail system on the Reserve that traverses nearly the entire Bear Run watershed.
The Reserve is an area of great natural diversity with stunning outcroppings of Pottsville sandstone. It has significant aquatic and animal life (native trout, numerous birds, black bears, and bobcats). The flora includes extensive stands of wildflowers, rhododendron and trees including mature oaks, maples, poplars, dogwoods and hemlocks. Bear Run Nature Reserve has been recognized as having an extraordinary variety of warblers and it was voted one of the top ten wilderness camping areas in the nation by Outside magazine.
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- Book a spot on the house tour in advance (at least two weeks), especially in July, August, and fall weekends in October when things get very crowded.
- Kids under six are not permitted on house tours. However, youngsters will enjoy hiking and playing outside in Bear Run Nature Reserve.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes even on the house tour, as much of it takes place outside. Temperatures up here are about ten degrees chillier than in Pittsburgh, so bring along a few warm layers in spring or fall.
PO Box R
Mill Run, Pennsylvania 15464
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