Monday, September 19, 2011

Pittsburgh..The Place to Be

I have been meaning to take advantage of long weekends for awhile now. There is always the "oh let's go to ____[fill in blank with city/town]____" and then nothing happens. Not to mention I always look at a three day weekend and go "wooo sleep!". Labor day rolled around and I finally took advantage of a long weekend and was able to get up to Pittsburgh and see the city in the pouring rain (luckily me and rain are long time friends). Despite the nasty weather we had a really enjoyable weekend full of comical errors.

One highlight was getting to see Falling Water outside of Pittsburgh. Photos can not to this house justice. You are not allowed to take pictures when you are inside but the inside was just as inspirational as the outside. There were so many amazing architectural elements (a ship hatch that opened to stairs that went directly down to to the waterfall, a central 'trunk' of the house that had unique folding windows, the 'canopy' that covers the walk from the main house to the guest house, boulders that were build around, of course the waterfall, and all the elements that forced ones eye outside as Wright intended). Our tour lasted around an hour and we were in a group of about 15 people. The tour was very informative but I sure it would vary with every tour guide. As I am sure some of you have heard, the house did encounter some structural issues that have now been corrected. There is a movie on the renovation and how they ran cables under the existing floors to pull the structure back up. I will have to get my hands on it after seeing the house in person. I think what really stood out to me is that Falling Water is one of the only FLW houses to have the original structure AND the majority of the original furnishings that were all designed by Wright as well.

I have a bajillion photos so I will spare you and share just some of the highlights.

 These are the stairs that have a ship-like hatch at the top and the lead right down to the stream and falls so the family could swim and fish and feel like the stream was right in the living space.
 These windows are what was all the way up the "trunk" (there is a real name for it but I don't remember) of the house. It was really neat to see them open and see how Wright was breaking down the idea that structures should be made of boxes within boxes.
 I loved seeing the natural elements meet the structual parts of the home.
 Care was taken to not destroy something just because it was in the path of something structural.

I can also say that we are also just grateful that we actually got to take our tour. We cut it real close with our timing but luckily pulled it off!

After Falling Water we headed up to Pittsburgh. Found our hotel and rested for a bit. Ok we rested for awhile becasue we soon figured out that our picks for places to eat that night were all closing and we were kind of out of luck to find someplace to eat. So we ate at Morton's. Yes, we had $50 steaks and delish wine to top of the day. While it was comical since we had no intentions of such a over the top meal, it was very tasty and definetly filled us up!

The next morning the grey had settled in. We were in no hurry to get an early start to just get soaked so we took our time getting ready and watching some classy and fabulous TV about hunting. Love. it.

We decided to head over to the Monongahela Incline and take it up the side of  Mt. Washington. These rail car systems were build in the 1800's to transport people from work sites from their homes. They are still in use today and they take you to a breathtaking (even in the pouring rain) view of Pittsburgh.

Completely drenched we headed back to our hotel to get the car and then we grabbed some lunch at Primanti Brothers which serves these HUGE sandwiches that have fries and coleslaw on the sandwich! Needless to say, it was really good. After that we did some driving around through some different neighborhoods, saw a few of the schools up there, the ball park (which we had planned to see in a game in, but didn't want to sit in the rain) and then started our drive back home. The crowning jewel to the weekend of error and unexpected issues was the 2 miles we went in about 2 hrs. It was torturous traffic! Luckily we laughed it off, found some back roads eventually and made it home.


  1. It looks like you had so much fun!! I love that the rail cars kind of look like little houses.

  2. Dude I can't believe we were so close to passing each other! Pitt is a lot cooler than I thought it would be. The FLW building looks awesome!