Fallingwater Facts

House

  • Description: Fallingwater was a weekend house for the Edgar J. Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh, owners of Kaufmann's Department Store.
  • Owners: Edgar Kaufmann Sr. (1885-1955), Liliane S. Kaufmann (1889-1952), and their son, Edgar Kaufmann jr. (1910-1989). The house was owned and used by the Kaufmann family until 1963, when it was entrusted by Edgar Kaufmann, jr., to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
    Masonry Work
  • Design and construction: Designed in 1935 by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) The main house constructed 1936-38, followed by the guest house construction in 1939
  • Square footage: The main house uses 5,330 square feet. (2885 sq. ft. interior;  2445 sq. ft. terraces) while the guest house uses 1,700 square feet.
  • Paint Colors:  Wright's desire to create a unified and organic composition limited the color palette at Fallingwater.  Only two colors were used throughout: a light ochre for the concrete and his signature Cherokee red for the steel.  PPG Paints has worked with Fallingwater to develop eco-friendly paints that withstand the environmental challenges of the site.  They have also created a series of colors inspired by the building and its surroundings.  For more about the PPG paint colors click here.
  • Visitation: 4.5 million people since opening our doors in 1964, with 167,270 visitors in 2015.
  • Preservation: The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has preserved Fallingwater since 1963, with a major structural repair in 2002 strengthening Fallingwater’s cantilevers to prevent collapse and future deflection.
  • Surroundings: Surrounded by the WPC’s 5,000 acre Bear Run Nature Reserve.
  • Final cost:  $155,000 (Included $8,000 architect’s fees, and $4,500 for installed walnut furnishings).

Kaufmann Family

  • Bear Run StationEdgar and Liliane were married on June 22, 1909
  • Liliane could read three languages: English, French, and German
  • Edgar developed a dairy which is now the Barn at Fallingwater
  • Liliane raised long-haired dachshunds
  • During WWI, Edgar was a 1st lieutenant in the First Field Artillery
  • In 1934, Liliane was elected president of Montefiore Hospital in Pittsburgh
  • In 1928, Edgar made the first direct Pittsburgh to Paris telephone call to inquire about a designer dress.

Miscellaneous 

  • Fallingwater was featured on the cover of Time Magazine, January 1938
  • Fallingwater is the only major Wright-designed house to open to the public with its furnishings, artwork, and setting intact
  • Frank Lloyd Wright once suggested that the house’s concrete surfaces be coated in gold leaf.