Contributed by Jonathan Lerner.
Fallingwater, Mill Run, Pennsylvania
My experience of Fallingwater was like my experience of the Sydney Opera House. These two icons of modern architecture are among the most photographed structures on earth. Their images had been burned into my consciousness since childhood. Still, when I saw them in real life, each was more beautiful than any photo had conveyed.
The operative phrase being “real life.” Fallingwater, lavish as it is (and was when built, in the depths of the Depression), and while now a house museum, is clearly a well-lived-in home. The building is alive, too, in its continual decay and restoration, and given the subtle modifications (always “in the style of Frank,”) occasionally made so it can survive and welcome up to 1,000 people a day. Then there is the water – sometimes trickling, and sometimes roaring and dripping, as it was on a very rainy day when we visited.