Fallingwater, or the Kaufmann Residence, is one of the most famous private homes designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. The house was designed to protrude over a waterfall on Bear Run in the Mill Run section of Stewart Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in the Laurel Highlands of the Allegheny Mountains.
Completed at a total cost of $155,000 (including $4,500 for the home’s all-walnut furnishings alone), Fallingwater instantly became an icon of American architecture. Hailed by Time magazine as Wright’s “most beautiful job”, it is listed among Smithsonian’s Life List of 28 places “to visit before you die.” Wright initially intended that the home’s concrete surfaces be coated entirely in gold leaf; for undisclosed reasons, yet remain easy to guess, the color palate became a more sparingly practical one of light ochre and Cherokee red, supplied by locals PPG Pittsburgh Paints.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966, in 1991 members of the American Institute of Architects also named the house the “best all-time work of American architecture.” In 2007, it was ranked twenty-ninth on the list of America’s Favorite Architecture according to the AIA.
Fallingwater remains Wright’s only major work open to the public with all its initial components – from furniture to original architectural features and artwork – intact and on display, accounting for the nearly 4.5 million visitors that have passed through its doors since 1964.