"I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives." - Tracy Chapman
Through the woods and the streams, one arrives at an American architectural masterpiece in the southwest tip of Pennsylvania. I am happy to share my road trip to a masterful design: the Fallingwater residence, designed by the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright.
Leaves are brushed by the surrounding cool summer breeze, and I can hear a late summer storm approaching. Regardless, insects are busily whizzing around, and water flows through the house. I can feel the tranquility and joyous anticipation from the other visitors, as well as myself.
Once I've stepped out of the rental car, my feet are cushioned by driveway pebbles; my careful steps sink into the pebbles slightly. As I get closer to the visitor center, I am led by the cool green shades of tall vertical trees surrounding the compound.
With a short wait, the tour begins. A slight surprise, there were a number of uninformed architectural visitors in our tour group. Our thoughtful guide provides background stories of Wright, his clients, and their relationship. I enjoy it, much like a gossip page out of the Vanity Fair magazine.
With its low ceiling, I wanted to lie down, or at least sit, on the slate floor, which appeared cool and embraced the vibrations from the water flowing through. The window expansion still embraced the progressiveness and timeless modern approach to Wright's architectural style. At that moment, I was proud to be a fellow American as Frank Lloyd Wright was. What great details and warm human scaled proportions. The house grew and spread like the American dream once expanded. I didn't mind moving through the house, space after space. I wanted to journey through it endlessly.
Like my other tours, it came to an end; we arrived at the guesthouse. Its size and scale felt like many of Wright's residential projects in the Los Angeles area, project spear-headed by Rudolf Schindler: a sense of modernism. The pool is the gem of this guesthouse, which is the climactic program to the house, nestled and tucked under the hill privately.
The most comedic part from my visit was the Q&A session during the tour. The visitors' questions made me re-realize that everyone is different and mostly uninformed. I laughed out loud at some points. An elderly lady raised her right arm and shared her dislikes about the house. Another gentle-mannered man asked about the cost of building the residence, and a foreign visitor quickly chimed in to inquire how our ticketing costs were being spent.
All in all, it was an inspiring visit to Fallingwater, aside from learning about the design details. For me, it helped me re-learn and encouraged the concept of an inspirational road trip.