Architect Robert A.M. Stern on Road Tripping to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in the ‘60s

It was January 1963, and I was traveling for a very long weekend with John Hagmann, who was a classmate of mine at the Yale University of Architecture. John experienced accessibility to a vehicle, a Pontiac that he utilised to refer to as Streak. I was providing a chat in Baltimore at the Society of Architectural Historians, and I had the thought that we could journey from there up via Pennsylvania, halting at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, in Mill Operate, and a handful of other cities in advance of making our way again to New Haven. Wright was a excellent hero of mine. I took it on myself to get in touch with Edgar Kaufmann Jr., who was the son of the commissioner of the dwelling, and request if we may halt to see it. I experienced gotten to know him while I was doing the job at Columbia College in the Avery Architectural & Wonderful Arts Library for a few of summers. At that time, the house was totally private—Edgar would subsequently turn it around to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. I advised him our journey timetable, and he stated, ‘Well, I commonly occur out on the overnight practice on Friday. Why never you come to lunch on Saturday?’ 

We arrived at the household at the appointed hour of 11 a.m., and it had started to snow. The caretaker explained that he had lousy news: Edgar wasn’t heading to make it. But we ended up even now served a scrumptious lunch, and not only did the gentleman give us the operate of the house, but he also prompt that we go down to Bear Run, the waterfall that the household sits previously mentioned. So we went down in the midst of this blinding snowstorm and seemed at the household from underneath, which is the most legendary viewpoint of it, and took photographs of every other. We had been practically absolutely snowed in, but it was unbelievably gorgeous and unforgettable. We stood there and noticed the creating as extended as we could stand it, simply because it was rather cold, and then we hiked back again up the hill. As I recall, we were being provided a heat consume and then we went on our way. But we have been the only individuals there, and we were being taken care of as though we were the most critical friends in the earth. It was superb.” —As advised to Betsy Blumenthal

This short article appeared in the March 2022 issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Subscribe to the magazine here.