A program about American homes would not be complete without Fallingwater. This week we made our requisite trip to this Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, which hovers dramatically over a waterfall in Western Pennsylvania.
Designed for department store magnate Edgar Kaufmann and his wife Liliane in 1936, Fallingwater showed us just how thoroughly a house can be wedded to its site: its cantilevered terraces cascade like the waterfalls, its walls of locally-quarried stone are almost an extension of the rock ledge on which the house sits, and the glimmering waxed floors mimic the streambed. There’s even a “hatch” that allowed the Kaufmanns to descend a staircase from the living room to the churning waters below.
We faced more than a few challenges capturing Fallingwater with our cameras: we were hit by a series of torrential downpours, which were followed by sweltering heat; and Director of Photography Tim Boyd braved a treacherous hike below the falls to capture an iconic shot of the house. Our many thanks to our interviewee, Fallingwater Director Lynda Waggoner, who remained insightful and cheerful despite a very long, hot, rainy day of filming.