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Of Steel and Grace: A Look at the Famed Fallingwater
June 7, 2021

Of Steel and Grace: A Look at the Famed Fallingwater

by The CE Shop Team

Fall in Love With Fallingwater

Pennsylvania is rich with American history, and the buildings that call the Keystone State home create a reflection of both the state’s past and the foundation of our country. Unbeknownst to many, the state is also home to one of architecture’s most influential homes. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater is arguably the most beautiful property in the country, if not the world. Wright’s influence on American architecture can be seen across the country, and Fallingwater in Mill Run might just be his greatest work of art.

Fallingwater’s Fortunes

Praised as one of the most beautiful homes in existence, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) voted Fallingwater the best all-time work of American architecture in 1991. What makes this home so iconic is its integration of architecture and landscape. The story of Fallingwater started back in 1934 when the owners of the land, Edgar and Liliane Kaufmann, asked Wright to design a weekend home for their family at the waterfall in Mill Run. After Wright visited the family’s property, then known as Bear Run, he began working on designs for both a main house and a guest house.

Frank Lloyd Wright wrote that “[Mr. Kaufmann] loved the site where the house was built and liked to listen to the waterfall. So that was a prime motive in the design.” The nature-inspired design of the home was intended to serve as an outdoor retreat for the family, who at the time was living in industrial Pittsburgh.

Wright designed the 5,330-sq.-ft. main home to sit on top of the waterfall, allowing the water to flow beneath the property and create soothing waterscape sounds. “I want you to live with the waterfall, not just to look at it, but for it to become an integral part of your lives,” Wright told the family.

This was a bold move and not what Kaufmann expected or wanted, though they eventually accepted Wright’s vision and praised the idea. Construction on Fallingwater began in 1936, and the home was completed in 1937. The Kaufmanns moved in shortly thereafter. The original estimated cost for building Fallingwater was $35,000. The final cost for the home and guest house was $155,000 in 1937; today that translates to roughly $2,978,000. Not only is Fallingwater a marvel from the outside, but the inside still boasts custom-designed furniture from Wright himself. In fact, “Fallingwater is the only major Wright-designed structure to open to the public with its furnishings, artwork, and setting intact.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Image source: Rachel Beard

Frank Lloyd Wright was arguably one of the most influential American architects, being recognized by the AIA as “the greatest American architect of all time”. He produced more than 1,000 structures over the course of 70 years, with a selection of his works becoming World Heritage Sites. Renowned for his creation of “Prairie Style” and “Usonian” homes, Wright’s innovative vision is responsible for many aspects of the contemporary and modern style homes we love so much today.

“A building should grace its environment rather than disgrace it,” said Wright in an interview with Hugh Downs in 1952. Based on his impressive body of work, it's safe to say that Wright's architecture graced its environment time and time again.

Real Estate and Architecture: Why Architects Make Great Agents

The worlds of real estate and architecture are not far removed, and they often intertwine. One focuses on sales while the other focuses on design. Architects looking for new career opportunities can find great potential in the real estate business. This move is natural and holds lucrative opportunities for those willing to work for it.

Qualified architects have a broad range of knowledge that can easily be applied to selling a property. Having an eye for detail, strong visual awareness, and an understanding of building materials and structures can put any architect looking to enter the real estate industry on a fast track for success.

With a real estate license, an architect can gain access to home listings while utilizing their diverse network to find potential new clients. Becoming a licensed real estate agent isn’t as hard as one might think — you just need to devote some time and energy to your new craft.

Spring Into 2021 With the Best Pennsylvania Real Estate Courses From The CE Shop

Enroll in our Pre-Licensing program now to get your career started and begin connecting your fellow residents with the home of their dreams. Or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive, 100% online Continuing Education packages. Want to stay up to date on everything in Pennsylvania? Join the Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Facebook Group!

*Hero image source: Rachel Beard