"Our Shared Legacy"

Fallingwater’s Preservation Depends Upon Generosity

Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fallingwater not for longevity, but for effect. It was built for the moment as it stretched the limits of technology and design. Now, more than seven decades later, it is as relevant and as inspiring as ever. With the help of supporters, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy can maximize Fallingwater’s tremendous potential, as well as expand its on-site educational programming.

With the help of supporters, Fallingwater seeks to make the most of Fallingwater’s potential.
With the help of supporters, Fallingwater seeks to make the most of Fallingwater’s potential.

Expenses associated with maintaining the house increase as Fallingwater reaches its 76th year. In order to address the challenges that come with an aging structure and collections, the Conservancy seeks to increase Fallingwater’s endowment, which supports preservation efforts. The current endowment of $8 million does not reach a common benchmark for the appropriate endowment size for museums – a fund equal to four times the annual operating budget, which for Fallingwater would be $16 million.

WPC also is raising funds to cover the labor-intensive and expensive job of replacing the window glass at this iconic home and to provide an endowment that will allow for future window replacement.

Space in which to fulfill its mission is Fallingwater’s biggest challenge and an obstacle to moving into the full educational programming the organization envisions. To address long-faced space and lodging deficiencies that result from visitation numbers that are more than double those of the late 1980s, WPC aims to reconfigure various workspaces throughout the site. The first step in that work is the construction of a new maintenance facility away from the entrance to the site.

The Conservancy is also in the process of constructing six on-site cottages that will house visiting scholars and Fallingwater Institute participants. This project will demonstrate the principles of sustainable design and conservation.

Finally, Fallingwater’s visitors center also requires upgrades to improve accessibility for disabled individuals and to comply with building safety codes.

Our achievements, so far, include funding for:

  • • 209 of 308 Fallingwater windows endowed;
  • • An endowment to name the Fallingwater gallery;
  • • An endowment for the Fallingwater collections;
  • • Funding for five cottages; and
  • • Three new named internships.

Overall Goal $5.3 million
Improve Visitor Parking and Entrance - $800,000
Construct Residences for Visiting Artists and Scholars - $450,000
Install New Windows to Protect the Collection and Retain Design Integrity - $300,000
Enhance Visitors Center - $100,000
Relocate and Rebuild Maintenance Facility - $500,000
Increase endowment for educational, preservation, and curatorial programs - $2.75 million
Fallingwater Operating Funds - $400,000 over 3 years