What is Fallingwater?


Fallingwater is a house designed in 1935 by renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959). The house was designed as a private residence and weekend home for the family of Pittsburgh department store owner, Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. Fallingwater is one of Wright’s most widely acclaimed works and best exemplifies his philosophy of organic architecture: the harmonious union of art and nature.

Fallingwater is located in the mountains of Southwestern Pennsylvania, also known as the Laurel Highlands, in Mill Run, Pa. in Fayette County, which is about 70 miles east of Pittsburgh. Wright designed Fallingwater to rise above the waterfall over which it is built. Completed with a guest house and service wing in 1939, Fallingwater was constructed of native sandstone and other materials quarried from the property. Fallingwater was built by local craftsman from Fayette County.

The Kaufmann family, Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. (1885-1955), Liliane S. Kaufmann (1889-1952), and their son, Edgar Kaufmann jr. (1910-1989), owned, lived in and used Fallingwater in various capacities during their lifetimes. In 1963, Edgar Kaufmann jr. donated and entrusted Fallingwater and the surrounding 469 acres of natural land to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.

Today, Fallingwater is open to the public as a museum and surrounded by  5,100 acres of natural land known as the Bear Run Nature Reserve. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with seven other Wright-designed buildings, on July 10, 2019. In addition, Fallingwater is designated as a National Historic Landmark and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Treasure, and named the “best all-time work of American architecture” in a poll of members of the American Institute of Architects. Since its debut more than 80 years ago, more than five million visitors have toured and experienced Fallingwater. Travel+Leisure Magazine stated that Fallingwater is "one of the 12 landmarks that will change the way you see the world."

Fallingwater is the only major Wright work to come into the public domain with its setting original furnishings and artwork intact.

Due to rising cases of COVID-19 and new statewide restrictions, Fallingwater is temporarily closed to the public from Monday, December 14 through Sunday, January 3. Guided Exterior Private Tours and Winter Walks are cancelled, and the Fallingwater Museum Store, Café and Speyer Gallery are closed. Learn more about our health and safety measures.