Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Seven miles from Fallingwater is another Frank Lloyd Wright gem, Kentuck Knob, commissioned by the I. N. Hagans, owners of the then largest dairy East of the Mississippi, and now owned by the ultimate collector, arts and architecture patron Lord Peter Palumbo.
FLW's Cherokee red signature block
Different circumstances, different houses
Fallingwater counts its visitors in the millions, Kentuck Knob, open to the public since 1996, in the thousands, but those who see it usually find it more livable. The difference is in the location and the clients.
Triangular lights are one of the home's features.
Tip: Don't worry about having to walk up 2,000 feet. Because there's limited parking at the home, visitors are driven up to the front door.
The Hagans were friends of the Kaufmanns and admirers of Fallingwater, but rather than a vacation home, they wanted one to live in year-round. The Kaufmanns had a large staff and Mrs. Kaufmann didn't cook. The Hagans did all of their own work, including cooking, so instead of an afterthought, the kitchen is a hexagonal gem. Mrs. Hagan was allowed to select the colors and appliances.
Hexagonal skylight are in the house and the roof line over the deck.
Their son was 6'2" tall so Wright, then 86 and working on the Guggenheim Museum in New York as well as a synagogue and 12 residential homes, compromised his usual low ceilings, raising them to 6'7".
Wright eliminated unsightly drain pipes by letting water drip onto decorative boulders.
Unlike the Kaufmanns, the Hagans needed storage for provisions when winter weather at the 2,000-foot altitude made the 15 miles of road to the nearest grocery store impassable. Wright relented (he hated basements) and let her have two small basement rooms for extra freezer, larder and laundry room.
Wright gave the Hagans a miniature "fallingwater" outside their bedroom.
The doorways and hallways still are FLW-narrow and when the Hagans complained about it, Wright had a very good answer: "How much time do you spend in hallways? I only have so many square feet."
Walk out beyond the ring of trees to see the view... including Lord Palumbo's vacation home.
A few changes have been made but Wright's integrity is untouched. Actually, with the family photographs and collectibles it looks as lived in as ever. The Palumbos built a vacation home in the valley below and continue to entertain in Kentuck Knob - after the tours.
FLW invented the carport; he thought it would eliminate the clutter that accumulates in garages.