Home » Laurel Highlands

Visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece: Fallingwater

When you ask an architect about Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the first words out of his or her mouth will, without fail, be mention of his masterpiece, Fallingwater.

Located seventy miles southeast of Pittsburgh near Ohiopyle State Park, this iconic home is built literally on top of a waterfall and has attracted more than just engineers and architects; over 160,000 people visit the property each year.

The home was once a weekend retreat for the Kaufmann family, who owned a successful chain of department stores in the area. They commissioned Wright, famous for integrating his architecture with nature, to build the home for them in 1934.

Construction of Fallingwater began in April 1936 and was completed in 1939. Wright spent $155,000 to build the multi-story home (well above his initial estimate of $35,000), incorporating boulders from the mountain into the building’s foundation and steps that lead straight into the river below.

Touring Fallingwater in Pittsburgh's Laurel Highlands
Approaching Fallingwater.

Driving onto the property feels isolating as the dense forest blocks out most of the light. However, as you step into the weekend home, the atmosphere immediately brightens. The living room is fully furnished and you can almost imagine a ghost of the Kaufmann family coming in from around the corner to relax in front of the sizable fireplace.

Low ceilings make the home seem more cozy than cramped, and the incorporation of wood brings the natural world inside. In fact, that was Wright’s intention; with the use of open space and large windows, my eyes were constantly drawn to the outdoors and the natural beauty surrounding the home. To completely isolate myself from the outside world would be impossible.

The interior of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania.
The interior of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater.

The Kaufmann family each had their own room, in addition to the kitchen, servant’s quarters, guest room, main living room, and the later addition of a guesthouse behind the main home. The rooms were compact and stacked on top of each other; the main house is three stories tall and the third floor holds only one room, belonging to the Kaufmann’s only son.

The interior of the home is nearly as fascinating as the architecture. Mrs. Kaufmann collected countless statues, rugs, paintings and original artwork from all over the world. I spent just as much time snapping pictures of tiny details as hanging my jaw at the views outside. Her taste in decorations was exquisite.

Fallingwater in PA is a great place to visit.
Overlooking Fallingwater from the paths around the home.

To go on a tour of the house, you’ll need to reserve tickets ahead of time. I recommend the in-depth tour as you’re able to learn much more about the construction of the home and the inside story of even small details, as well as visit every room in the house. The two hours were gone in a flash.

It should also be noted that interior shots of the home are only allowed on the in-depth tour. Visitors on regular tours can’t take photos during the tour.

Visiting Fallingwater

Visiting Frank Lloyd's Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania.
Fallingwater is beautiful in every season.

Fallingwater is located south of Pittsburgh, within the Bear Run Nature Reserve, just off of State Route 381 in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

Tickets are $35 per person for the standard tour or $87 per person for the in-depth tour. Bear in mind that children under 6 are not allowed on any tours of Fallingwater. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made on their website or by calling 724-329-8501. If you just want to see the outside of the home, grounds passes are available for $10 each.

Opening dates and times vary, though the house is closed in January and February. For more information about the property’s history and tour schedule, visit Fallingwater’s website.

Interested in exploring more unique sites in the outskirts of Pittsburgh? Check out other nearby sites including Kentuck Knob (another Wright home), Ohiopyle Falls, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Polymath Park, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, and Stewarton Falls.

This is a guest post by writer Sally Bucey.


Hours: Daily: 9:30am-3:30pm, closed Wednesday
Open Mid-March – December

Cost: $35 in advance
Other tour options additional cost 

Website: Fallingwater.org

Address: 1491 Mill Run Road
Mill Run, PA 15464


See map for other area attractions.

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. We will make a small commission from these links if you order something at no additional cost to you.

Great places to stay in Fayette County

Click the map to see more nearby things to do

Map of the Laurel Highlands"

More nearby places worth exploring

Find more things to do in the Laurel Highlands

11 thoughts on “Visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece: Fallingwater”

  1. I toured one of his houses in Chicago once. It was in the design of the Prairie School. His work is always worth checking out. One day I will get to see Fallingwater.

    • He’s done some beautiful buildings all across the country, how great that you got the see one in Chicago. If you get the chance to visit Fallingwater, definitely take it! Beautiful.

      • I was a student at Pittsburg university in 1986. At that time i visited falling waters .
        AS I am an architect by profession .
        It was like a dream come true roaming around and soaking my feet in the water

  2. I visited Fallingwater a few years ago and it was amazing! I am headed to Chicago in May for the Walk Wright In Tour – a walking tour of 9 private homes designed by FLW. I’m super excited!

    • Awesome that you liked it too! What season did you go in? I would love to see it when the trees have leaves and there isn’t any snow; I imagine it would be just as gorgeous, just in a different way.

      Have so much fun in Chicago, that sounds incredible! 🙂

  3. Hi Sally, many thanks for such an informative post. It looks as though you arrived there in the height of winter?

    I was there in November and blogged about it too. I found the architecture very striking and it is a very unique piece of design. I felt the tour was a bit pricey for what it was and we were only told after we paid for the tour that pictures were not allowed inside the house. (Did you sneak that picture when no one was looking? 😉 )

    • Yes, I went on New Years Eve – the very last day they gave tours before closing for the winter. But they didn’t say anything about taking photographs being forbidden, and I was quite open about having my camera out. That’s quite surprising that you couldn’t! I’m sorry you felt like it wasn’t worth the price. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and atmosphere and wasn’t upset by the money; there’s no house quite like it.

      Hope you still had a great time in the area, though. It’s beautiful on all accounts!

  4. It doesn’t surprise me that the inside of this amazing home is filled with more amazing decor! If your home is this great you are going to need some nice statues, paintings, and rugs. Thanks for sharing this, it was fun to read about!


Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!