Sunday, September 7, 2014

Falling Water!!

Once the little girl camping across from me played out her 30 minutes of screaming at the top of her lungs non-stop from the top of the picnic table while totally being ignored, Barbara and Tom picked me up and we were off to Falling Water ... the Kaufmann home.  

This is an interesting story about how Frank Floyd Wright refused on many levels, to do the bidding of both the homeowner and the contractor.  Built in 1935-37, Mr. Kaufmann of Department Store fame (sorry, never heard of him) wanted the home built on this side of the stream, so he could watch the water cascade down the falls.  Wright insisted on building it on top of the little waterfall, which sounds like a really lovely idea.  
Unfortunately, down in this hole, the humidity is 100% without the waterfall, and building right on top of it resulted in many mold and water related damages.  To make matters worse, the contractor thought it needed much more steel than Wright ... and he was right.  So right, that even though he doubled the amount called for without telling Wright, the cantilever areas still fell in excess of 7 inches in 15 feet.  When Kaufmann Jr. donated the home to be a museum, it cost the conservancy a fortune to repair all of the damages.  I guess Mr. Wright was a good designer, but not a good architect, and yet he won many awards for this structure.  It is kind of neat the way the house seems to fall down the side of the hill, like the waterfall it covers.
You can tour the inside for $27 (they have to pay for those repairs somehow) or the grounds for $8.  Take the $8 tour .. you can walk out on to the deck shown here and look at the inside through the windows to get a feel for the house.   
To the right behind the statue is a nice swimming pool, although rather narrow.  There are guest rooms and bedrooms further up the hill, attached to the house by stairways.  It was SOOO hot and humid here that my glasses stayed foggy the entire time.  It didn't take me long to head back to the Visitor's Center for some AC!!
On the way to Falling Water, we went through Mill Run for a geocache.  We were looking for the big waterfall when we found THE waterfall.  Not exactly large, but big enough to run the grist mills located here in the old days.  The water wheels provided power for everyone.  You can see the holes in the sandstone (next picture) where the old water wheel and grist mill stood.  The leaves are definitely starting to change color here at the falls, and are falling everywhere.  This area mostly attracts kayakers nowadays ... we saw many going down the river and around the horseshoe, where they get out and come back around for another run!!

On the way home, we drove up to the Youghiogheny River Lake and across the top of the dam to the boat ramp.  It's very small, but a nice weekend lake for the locals.  I can sure see why everyone comes here ... the lake is MUCH cooler!!
On our outflow side of the lake, these four guys were gathering fish from the middle of this pontoon fish facility and transporting them up to the lake.  I didn't see much size, but a fish is a fish!!
When we returned to the rigs, another downpour came through with lots of rain when I heard the familiar screaming.  This time the little girl, 4 years old at best, wearing only a small two piece bathing suit, was running and jumping in the big puddles in the thunder and rain ... directly next to and under the four huge sparkling clean sanitary garbage cans.  With probably 8 cars passing on the road she was running next too, I started looking for the parents.  The grandparents finally showed up 15 minutes later, as she was laying in the muddy mess, and  .......... wait for it ...........  joined her!!  I just went back to knitting.  It's always an adventure in RV-land!!!

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