Around twenty years ago—though I never really knew why—my ambition was to become a famous architect. Over the years my goal switched to psychologist and librarian and now I’m a novelist, which should tell you something about the passage of time. Anyway, my pursuit of greatness began with learning everything there was to know about Frank Lloyd Wright—houses, life and times, architectural style, the works. The closest Wright work to me is a private residence in Frankfort, but the closest house museum is Fallingwater in the rural western corner of Pennsylvania. I had dreamed for years of visiting its pastoral setting and hearing the rush of the waterfall upon which the house was constructed nearly eight years ago. I just assumed it was a dream that would have to remain on the backburner, but going through major surgery as well as oncological treatments changes one’s priorities just a bit. For this summer I had planned a vacation to my specifications. It began with the New River Bridge, another incredible feat of engineering and design. That was followed by a trip back upstate and into Pennsylvania, though this travel took the balance of the day and by the time we reached Fallingwater it had closed for the day. Thankfully after a side trip we finally found a motel and bedded down for the night. Fallingwater is quite literally in the middle of a nature preserve—a more rural, bucolic setting could scarcely be found. We arrived early and were able to look around the exterior and the grounds before tours began. You always wonder when you travel somewhere if certain views will be available to you, and I am glad to say that at Fallingwater you can take outdoor shots from nearly every angle imaginable. You can’t photograph the interior but those images are available in countless books and on postcards in the gift shop.
The remnants of a tropical storm that entered Texas
and finally spun northeast toward the Ohio Valley created an exceptionally
larger and louder stream and waterfall, which acts as a natural source of air
conditioning for the main floor of the house thanks to a hatch in the living
area. So was it worth the trip? Absolutely.