Chapter Eleven of my new book INN BY THE LAKE opens with Amanda and her friend Julie at Fallingwater. They are staring down the staircase that leads to a swim platform on Bear Run.
This is what I wrote:
“That’s not where I expected to see the waterfall.” Julie leaned over a living room railing for a better look through the glass panels covering a flight of wide stairs down to a swim platform.
Fallingwater, the mansion in western Pennsylvania designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was poised right over the rapids of Bear Run. He’d even included the swim platform so the homeowners could plunge right into the cold waters.
Fallingwater isn’t just a mansion in western Pennsylvania. It’s an iconic, architectural masterpiece that I’ve seen several times. I have loved Frank Lloyd Wright architecture for a long time. I’ve seen Taliesen West near Phoenix and I’ve visited Kentuck Knob, which isn’t far from Fallingwater.
What impressed me the most—after the audacious plan to build the house right on top of a waterfall!—was that swim platform.
I don’t have a picture of it but you can see one on the Fallingwater website. Take a look, I’ll wait. Isn’t it amazing?
The house was built by the family of the Pittsburgh-based Kaufmann Department Store. Their son Edgar Kaufmann Jr., who apprenticed with Wright at his studio Taliesin in Wisconsin, introduced the architect to his parents. And Fallingwater was born.
Modern by mid-20th Century standards, but born of the countryside it inhabits, Fallingwater became a family get-away, a repository for their art collection and, now, a marvel everyone may visit.
And, perhaps, it’s a place to find inspiration, as my character Amanda did.