Thursday, October 1, 2015

Remembering Fallingwater

October 1, 2015

It's wet. Rain is falling. It's not conducive to writing, at least for me. Planning and plotting come better when it's dreary outside. My muse needs sunshine to be productive. 

I was looking in the files for an inspiration photo and came across a few photos of the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, Fallingwater. I had occasion to visit there on a rainy day in October of 2007, and decided to recount that visit tonight. It seems appropriate, given the rain.

For years I’d seen pictures of the Frank Lloyd Wright house and marveled at its very existence. It is an engineering masterpiece. Before the visit, I tried to imagine what it would really be like. Would it be a disappointment in real life? Would it be better than I ever dreamed? I can honestly say, it was more than I ever expected.

By today’s standards, the rooms of Fallingwater are actually of a modest square footage, the interior deliberately dwarfed by the cantilevered terraces. If a queen size bed were placed in any of the bedrooms, there’d barely be room to walk around it. Not that anyone would mind with a wall of windows to lie in bed and look out through.

No fancy gourmet kitchen, either, thank you. A kitchen is used strictly for food preparation. A dining area is used for family gatherings and entertaining guests. The flagstone used for the floors is not polished smooth, its dips and crannies a hazard for anyone in heels. Better to walk barefoot across the stones and let the ageless beauty of the rock lure you back into another world, another time. For a space of time, I embraced its seduction.

Every terrace at Fallingwater provides a stunning view of the house, woodlands and Bear Creek. Access to the plunge pool in the creek is through the living room. Above the house is a small (by today's standards) lap pool. The covered, curving walk up to the pool is as genius as the rest of the house. Fallingwater is all about experiencing the woods and the water. 

I've often wondered if the house has been imitated anywhere, but I'm not sure I really want to know. Any copies would be only that - a copy. 

While I may never write Fallingwater into a story, the feeling of romance the house instilled in me is something I’ll not soon forget. Maybe it was the intimacy of a rainy day. The hushed reverence of everyone in the tour group. Or maybe it was the knowledge I stood in the presence of creative genius. 

If you ever have the chance to visit Fallingwater you should go. It's a place you'll never forget. 


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