The Barn at Fallingwater was originally built in 1870 as a part of the Tissue Farm. It is a “bank barn” or a style of barn built into a hillside, with a back entrance at the second floor level. In 1940, Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. purchased the barn, expanded it with the addition of a milking parlor, and operated it as a dairy farm based on Jersey cows. Fallingwater and the Barn were entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 1963. Under the Conservancy’s ownership, the Barn was transformed into a nature center in 1967.
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Atlantic Engineering Services
Clearview Project Services
Marshall Tyler Rausch
In 2002, the architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Pittsburgh were commissioned to create an adaptive reuse of the Barn at Fallingwater, using the original characteristics of the barn itself. For example, in the large threshing room located in the upper barn, the architects kept the initial gaps in the vertical siding, which were once used as ventilation when storing hay. This helped to preserve the historical space and also made the space more functional.
The second major facet of the adaptive reuse was the use of sustainable design. The Barn at Fallingwater was honored with the silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The LEED is an award given by the U.S Green Building Council to buildings that are proactive in lessening their impact on the environment. The Barn uses green and recycled materials throughout the spaces, and is also green powered, thus furthering the connection between nature and architecture—a theme surrounding Fallingwater.
Today, the Barn at Fallingwater houses administrative offices and is also used for exhibitions, lectures, classes and other programs. The Barn features three primary spaces for meeting and gathering. These include:
The Fireplace Room
The Fireplace Room is the original milking parlor from the time when the barn was an active dairy farm, and although it has been renovated to serve as event space it still retains the unique, organic feel of the original space. A large stone fireplace now dominates one end of the approximately 1800 square feet (53' x 34') room. The Fireplace Room has full A/V capability, with high-speed Internet connection, video, DVD, and LCD projection. It can be set up to accommodate meetings for 10 or fewer, or up to 100 people. Additional space is available for break-out sessions or meals.
The Threshing Room
The Threshing Room is exactly as the name implies – the large room in the upper barn that was used for the separation of grain seeds from the straw, it also was used for hay storage in the lofts overhead. The Threshing Room has been restored to preserve the integrity of the space, including the 19th century post-and-beam construction and barn board walls. Seating up to 150 depending on set-up, the approximately 3200 square feet of space, is ideal for social events or informal meetings and conferences.
The Threshing Room is for seasonal use only as it is not heated or air-conditioned. Typically, it is used from May through mid-October. Large sliding doors open to the rear allowing events to expand to the outdoors. Tents can be added to this area to provide additional covered space.
The Courtyard is located off the Fireplace Room between the Barn and the farmhouse. It features a charming flagstone patio and staircase with a wisteria covered trellis. This unique outdoor space is ideal for wedding ceremonies, casual receptions or hors d’oeurves before a reception or other dinner.
The architecture firm that oversaw the Barn’s renovation/restoration has some great photographs on their web site. Go to here and click on Projects> Cultural>The Barn at Fallingwater.
Contact the Laurel Highlands Visitor's Bureau here for more information on the region and overnight accommodations.
The site is handicapped accessible, with ample free parking. Parking is also motor coach accessible. Catering services are available through the Fallingwater café or one of the Barn's licensed caterers, depending event size and needs. Overnight accommodations are available at Seven Springs Mountain Resort and The Historic Summit Inn, as well as other numerous lodging properties located throughout the Laurel Highlands. Information on lodging is availabe by contacting the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau at 1-800-238-5661 or at www.laurelhighlands.org.
Learn more about the Barn
For barn rental information contact the Special Events Coordinator at 724-329-7802 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To continue reading about the Barn online, choose a link below.