"Our Shared Legacy"

Education: A Fallingwater Tradition

Fallingwater has always been a place for big and inspired thinking – even before Albert Einstein visited the Kaufmanns there. For this reason, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy invests significantly in Fallingwater outreach and educational programs, following the Kaufmann’s vision from decades ago.

Albert Einstein sits in Fallingwater’s living room in this 1939 photo.
Albert Einstein sits in Fallingwater’s living room in this 1939 photo.

The site’s educational programs have expanded to include Wright in Our Own Backyard, a program for local schools serving more than 2,000 students annually and residency programs for high school and college students, as well as teachers. Lectures and programs for lifelong learners ensure that people of all ages may learn new concepts and find inspiration at Fallingwater.

But more needs to be done. Under the Conservancy’s stewardship, Fallingwater will expand upon the idea of the Fallingwater Institute, a creative community where individuals of all ages can participate in workshops, residency programs and sessions that explore the ideas that informed Fallingwater.

In order to realize this goal, Fallingwater must address space issues that have plagued the site for decades. First, in order to accommodate a staff that oversees extensive programming, events and climbing visitation numbers, WPC proposes creating a new maintenance facility. This strategy will free up existing space for staff.

Although Fallingwater has sponsored on-site residency programs for nearly 20 years, the programming faces an ongoing challenge of a lack of housing and studio space. The Conservancy is preparing to build six cottages that will provide lodging for up to 20 people (the enrollment of a typical program). These structures will demonstrate the principles espoused in programming: sustainable design and conservation.

WPC also plans to build a small addition onto the visitors center to be used for on-site education, lectures and space for school groups to eat their lunches. The addition will enable Fallingwater to have multiple educational programs occurring simultaneously at the site.