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fallingwater: response

fallingwater St. Louis Dispatch, 1937
“A House That Straddles A Waterfall”

pring Green, Wisconsin: Frank Lloyd Wright the venerable dean of modernism in American architecture, has recently designed a dozen structures which are now being planned or built in eight states. A country house straddling a waterfall. A spacious and stately office that breathes through nostrils and fixtures, street doors or windows—the word is usually understood. A fabricated house to cost a little over $5000 and be as expansive and luxurious as the architect thinks any house has a right to be. These will seem the most startling innovations.

Not to their architect, though. They culminate and express principles, ideals, experiments and a common-sense artistic logic that Frank Lloyd Wright has been living with for most of his 68 years. Long ago he built a Pasadena house inside the rim of a ravine. As far back as 1903 he built the first air conditioned, possibly the first fireproof, office building—the Larkin Building in Buffalo, New York. Over the active span of his fiercely creative years, he has designed many houses containing some of the principles that must go into any lowcost factory built house. Bold originator that he is, all Frank Lloyd Wright’s building is the product of what he considers a leisurely and relentlessly logical inner growth of ideas.

fallingwater Test this against the waterfall house, which is being built for Edgar Kaufmann, a wealthy merchant of Pittsburgh. It is still under construction in Bear Run, a luxuriantly wooded ravine in southern Pennsylvania’s Alleghenys. Though it’s probably true that no house very like this has ever been built anywhere, this one didn’t spring full-blown from the architect’s imagination. When finished (probably in June) it will seem to have grown by a natural process of geology out of the boulders of Bear Run.


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