Published: December 6th 2011November 29th 2011
Hi, All --
After we left Bob's sisters around Lancaster, PA, we drove on to Ohiopyle State Park, also in PA. This park is renowned along the eastern US for its great whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River (or the "Yo"). We've been rafting on the Yough before, but this time we just biked for a couple of hours. There's a bike path right along the river which goes on for miles and miles. (See last four photos.)
While there, we visited the Frank Lloyd Wright home, Kentuck Knob, just a short distance away. The Hagans, of the well known Hagan Ice Cream Company, were friends of the owners of Fallingwater which was only 7 miles away, and decided they wanted their very own Wright home. Wright, who was 86 at the time and involved in developing the Guggenheim Museum, a well known synagogue, and 12 residential homes, said something like, "Sure!" when asked if he could design their home. He only visited the house once.
The architecture was designed on a hexagonal grid with no right angles in the house -- except for the bathroom because of a recalcitrant plumber. It was built as a small, one
story Usonian house. Usonian was a signature design of Wright and was considered affordable for the middle class. See the end of this blog for a description of "Usonian" homes from Wikipedia. I think it's interesting.
After living in this house for 30 years, the Hagans sold the house to Lord Palumbo of England, who has never lived in the house and opened the house to tours in 1996. The house is now full of Lord Palumbo's art collection which includes a lot of work from the Far East. Somehow, to my taste, the very valuable Oriential art doesn't fit that well in a Wright house, especially an "affordable" Usonian house. But that's just my opinion . . .
Lord Palumbo also created a sculpture park in the surrounding gardens and meadows and woods. "Works by contemporary artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Claes Oldenburg, Sir Anthony Caro and Ray Smith as well as many others are represented in the collection." (Maybe some of you know who they are. I've only heard of Oldenburg.)
The first photo is the lovely view from the top of the knob looking down into a valley. The second photo is of the
right outside the bedroom, creating a lovely ambiance.
roof over the decking and shows the hexagonal design. The third shows a pond right outside the bedroom with water rushing into and out of it. It sounds lovely in the bedroom. The rest of the photos were taken in the sculpture garden.
From Wikipedia: 'Usonian' is a term usually referring to a group of approximately sixty middle-income family homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright beginning in 1936 with the Jacobs House
. The "Usonian Homes" were typically small, single-story dwellings without a garage
or much storage, L-shaped to fit around a garden terrace on odd (and cheap) lots, with native materials, flat roofs and large cantilevered overhangs for passive solar heating
and natural cooling, natural lighting with clerestory
windows, and radiant-floor heating
. A strong visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces is an important characteristic of all Usonian homes. The word carport
was coined by Wright to describe an overhang for a vehicle to park under.
By the way, these photos were taken in early October and we've been home since mid-October. I just got behind on my blogging.
There are more photos below