I got up early to take the Pennsylvania Turnpike to the Alleghenies where the Kaufmanns asked Frank Lloyd Wright to build them a weekend retreat, inspired by meeting him at Taliesin in 1934, where their son Edgar, jr. had gone to join the Taliesin Fellowship.
The house is quite an amazing experience (quite in the American sense). Constructed as a series of vigorously horizontal, cantilevered trays over the Bear Run waterfall, it interleaves nature and art in a way I haven’t previously experienced. One moves between levels – the living level, with a big open plan sitting and dining room; upstairs are the parents’ bedrooms; on the top floor, a study and tiny bedroom for Edgar, jr.; and beyond a separate guest annexe with space for their servants above. It’s also an effective combination of the rough and the smart – Edgar, sr. inclining towards the rough and Frank Lloyd Wright preferring the smart (he wanted the concrete covered in gold leaf).
This is the sequence of views of the house, as one first encounters it:-
The interior is as impressive and extraordinarily well preserved, as left by Edgar Kaufmann, jr. to the Western Pennsylavania Conservancy in 1963, complete with original knives and forks, which he had bought as Director of Industrial Design at MOMA.
The living room:-
The master bedroom:-
The detailing on the bedroom cupboard:-
The view through the corner windows of Mr. Kaufmann, sr.’s dressing room:-
The view of the house from the second floor terrace:-
And the staircase up to Edgar, jr.’s floor:-
Up to the guest annexe:-
My last shots:-