History of the Barn at Fallingwater

Barn at Fallingwater

The Barn at Fallingwater was originally built in 1870 as a part of Tissue Farm.  It is a “bank barn,” which is a style of a barn built into a hillside, and has two levels. In 1940, Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr. purchased the barn, expanded it to include a milking parlor, and operated it as a dairy farm. 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.

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. 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 phase of the restoration included sustainable design elements. 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. 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. 

Today, the Barn at Fallingwater houses administrative offices and is also used for meetings, exhibitions, lectures, weddings, classes and other programs, social events and gatherings. The Barn features three primary spaces for meetings and gatherings. These rooms include: The Fireplace Room, The Threshing Room and The Courtyard. The site is handicapped accessible, with ample free parking. The Barn is located approximately 500 yards north of Fallingwater at the main entrance to Bear Run Nature Reserve. 

For barn rental information, contact the special events coordinator at 724-329-7802 or send an email to fallingwaterevents@paconserve.org.