What Are America’s Most Iconic Homes?

According to the National Building Museum, these houses, more than most, have impacted the way we live

(Model by Studios Eichbaum + Arnold, 2010. Photo by Museum staff.)


Fallingwater Pennsylvania
(Model by Studios Eichbaum + Arnold, 2010. Photo by Museum staff.)
In the 1930s, Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar J. Kauffman commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build him a vacation home on Bear Run, a tributary in southwest Pennsylvania. Wright rose to the challenge, and built Fallingwater practically within the stream’s waterfalls.

The house has a central stone chimney that stands like a tree trunk, with whole wings extending from it like branches. “This is really about nestling into the landscape as much as possible,” says Mellins. Some of the concrete terraces hover over the rushing water.

“Frank Lloyd Wright is certainly using this house as a search for something uniquely American,” says Mellins. Later building projects, including the Aluminum City Terrace, built in a Pittsburgh suburb in 1942, draw from Fallingwater, in their overall shape and style.

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