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Frank Lloyd Wright: Revolutionary Contributions to Modern Architecture

Program Number: 1885RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/11/2014 - 5/15/2014; 4/12/2015 - 4/16/2015; 5/10/2015 - 5/14/2015;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania
Price starting at: $695.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 12; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Frank Lloyd Wright is considered by some to be the greatest American architect. Explore the many facets of his contributions to modern architecture in discussions with experts representing three Wright-designed houses in this region. Step inside these exquisite homes to compare and contrast them while you consider the 75-year career of the architect, a working life that spanned two world wars.




Highlights

• Visit Fallingwater, Wright's best essay on the harmony between architecture and nature.
• Admire a superb example of Wright’s organic architecture at Kentucky Knob, a private residence blending impeccably with its surroundings
• At Duncan House, marvel at the fascinating story of this home’s journey from Illinois to Pennsylvania.



Activity Particulars

Moderate walking and standing.



Coordinated by Laurelville Mennonite Church Center.




Mount Pleasant

Located at the foot of the Laurel Mountains in southwestern Pennsylvania, this quaint community is at the center of the region's many recreational and scenic opportunities, including the limestone formations of Laurel Caverns, Ohiopyle State Park, and the Ohiopyle and Youghiogheny rivers.



Accommodations
Conference center on 240 forested acres in the Laurel Highlands.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Jennifer Hiebert

Jennifer Heibert is the education assistant at Fallingwater. In this role, she develops and helps implement on-site educational programming, and coordinates all of Fallingwater's volunteers. Originally from Portland, Indiana, Jennifer graduated from Goshen College with a degree in elementary education.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
  Mount Pleasant, PA 4 nights
 Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Located on 600 forest acres in the Laurel Highlands, with Jacobs Creek bordering the property.
  Contact info: 941 Laurelville Lane
Mount Pleasant, PA 15666-8908 USA
phone: 800-839-1021
web: www.laurelville.org
  Room amenities: Private bath, small table and chair, dresser.
  Facility amenities: Private bath in each room with linens provided. Light housekeeping services, including linen exchange, are available daily. Laundry facilities available as well as an ice machine. An in-building hospitality center is available with beverages and snacks at all times. TV/VCR available in main meeting area. Piano is also available. Free WiFi available in the Dining Hall Lobby. Guest phone is available in the public area only.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: Call for prices/availability Please call for prices and availability.
  Check in time: 5:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for prices/availability Please call for prices and availability.
  Check out time: 12:30 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
5:00 p.m. registration at the conference center with dinner and orientation to follow. You will be staying at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with an 11:00 a.m. lunch on Thursday. Check out time is 12:30 p.m. You will be staying at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Ample parking available without charge.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Mount Pleasant, PA
  Nearest city or town:  Mt. Pleasant, PA
  Nearest highway: PA Route 982 and Route 31
  Nearest airport:  Arnold Palmer Regional (LBE) or Pittsburgh International (PIT)
  From End of Program
  Location: Mount Pleasant, PA
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Pittsburgh, PA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
phone: 800-839-1021
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$100
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1.5 hours 

 

Distance:

 

70 miles

   

To make your travels easier, Laurelville provides airport pick-up and drop-off upon request. Transportation is also available to/from the following Amtrak stations: Greensburg and Connellsville. This is not a commercial service, so we are not able to accommodate every request. To make your request, please complete the form at www.laurelville.org/programs/road-scholar/transportation-request/. You may contact Laurelville at 800.839.1021 or program@laurelville.org with further questions.

 
Driving Directions
  From the East From PA Turnpike take Exit 91 (Donegal) and follow PA Route 31 west seven miles. At traffic light at PA Route 982 turn right. Travel 1/2 mile to the Y-intersection, turn right and drive 1/4 mile. Watch for Laurelville Mennonite Church Center signs on Routes 31 and 982. Laurelville’s entrance is on the right just before the bridge over Jacob’s Creek. Registration will be held in the Dining Hall lobby. Parking is available on the side of the building.
  From the South Take 119 north to the intersection of 982. Take PA 982 north for about 8 miles to the intersection of Route 31. Continue on 982 through the light about 1/2 mile to the Y-intersection. Turn right and drive 1/4 mile. Laurelville's entrance is on the right just before the bridge over Jacob's Creek. Registration will be held in the Dining Hall lobby. Parking is available on the side of the building.
  From the West From PA Turnpike take Exit 75 (New Stanton) and follow US 119 south five miles to the Mount Pleasant Exit. Take PA Route 31 east through the town of Mount Pleasant and continue traveling east 4 miles. At the traffic light at PA Route 982 turn left. Travel 1/2 mile to the Y-intersection. Turn right and drive 1/4 mile. Watch for Laurelville Mennonite Church Center signs on Routes 31 and 982. Laurelville’s entrance is on the right just before the bridge over Jacob’s Creek. Registration will be held in the Dining Hall lobby. Parking is available on the side of the building.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome to Laurelville! Settle in, get acquainted with the program and with one another. Those arriving early may enjoy a nice stroll along Jacob's Creek or a hike on one of our wooded trails.
(Sunday, May 11)
   
 Afternoon: Beginning at 5:00 pm, you may register and enjoy coffee and refreshments in the dining hall lobby. Enjoy a walk on Laurelville's wooded trails or relax in the spacious common area of your accommodations after settling into your room.
 Dinner: Gather in the dining hall lobby to be met by your group coordinator and hosts. Enjoy a homestyle supper with your fellow participants in Laurelville's Dining Hall.
 Evening: Orientation following dinner. Meet your hosts and fellow participants during this session. The group coordinator will have the opportunity to tell you more about the program, the area, and answer any questions you may have. Save room for a delicious dessert!
   
Accommodations: Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Visit Polymath Park, home of a classic Usonian Wright design called Duncan House. Then enjoy some fresh baked treats and a wine tasting at Sand Hill Berry Farm and Greendance Winery, a local treasure.
(Monday, May 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Laurelville
 Morning: Today's presentation, entitled "To Meet, To Love, To Battle: Wright's Patrons and Projects" provides an in-depth look at the controversy that often surrounded Wright and his clients. It is said that one of these clients, Edgar Kauffman, owner of Fallingwater, told the Hagans, owners of Kentuck Knob, that when giving Wright the budget for building their home they should quote no more than half of what they intended to spend in the end. Far exceeding his budget was one of many qualities that impacted Wrights relationships with clients. Even amid controversies, ultimately it was Wright's vision that drew clients from across the country to him and catalyzed an amazing career--spanning two world wars and two continents. Presented by the staff from Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's premier architectural masterpiece.
 Lunch: The group will depart for Polymath Park via charter bus. Lunch will be hosted by the Polymath Park staff at Tree Tops, their onsite restaurant.
 Afternoon: Before returning to Laurelville you will enjoy a visit to a local treasure, Greendance Winery and Sand Hill Berries. Sand Hill Berries is a family-owned and operated small fruits farm specializing in red raspberries, red currants, black currants, gooseberries, yellow raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries.The farm store offers a selection of baked goods, jams, jellies, vinaigrettes and unique gourmet products. The winery was opened on site in 2008 and offers over 40 wines, free for tasting everyday. Take the chance to shop some local specialties or find a comfortable spot in the beautiful gardens to savor a fresh-baked treat.
 Afternoon: Following lunch, the group will explore the park and encounter the world of organic architecture through the eyes of Frank Lloyd Wright and his apprentice, Peter Berndtson, while enjoying the scenic Laurel Highlands’ surroundings. During our visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Duncan House, you will experience the height of Usonian Style with the help of a knowledgeable guide. Created for everyday life in the 1950s, you will marvel at the fascinating story of this home’s journey from Illinois to Pennsylvania. Two other Wright-inspired homes add to the architectural interest and historical appeal of Polymath Park Resort. The buildings are within walking distance of each other (up to a quarter of a mile) but vehicle transportation is available between each house. The walking surfaces include gravel driveways and a mowed meadow path. There are some steep grades along the paths.
 Dinner: Dinner at Laurelville
 Evening: Following dinner, there will be a special showing of the Ken Burns documentary on the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright (film is approximately 153 minutes in length). Film description: "Frank Lloyd Wright was the greatest of all American architects. He was an authentic American genius, a man who believed he was destined to redesign the world, creating everything anew. Over the course of his long career, Wright designed over eight hundred buildings, including such revolutionary structures as the Guggenheim Museum, the Johnson Wax Building, Fallingwater, Unity Temple and Taliesin. Wright's buildings and his ideas changed the way we live, work and see the world around us. Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural achievements were often overshadowed by the turbulence of his melodramatic life. In ninety-two years, he fathered seven children, married three times, and almost constantly embroiled scandal. Some hated him, some loved him, but in the end, few could deny that he was the most important architect in America and perhaps the world. With exquisite live cinematography, fascinating interviews, and rare archival footage, this riveting film brings Wright's unforgettable story to life."
   
Accommodations: Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Visit Kentuck Knob, an example of a "grand Usonian" Wright design. The property also exhibits a collection of sculptures from contemporary artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Claes Oldenburg, Sir Anthony Caro, and Ray Smith, among others.
(Tuesday, May 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Laurelville
 Morning: Today's presentations will provide you with in depth information on the remaining two homes featured in this program: Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater. By learning more about the clients and the design process you will get new insights on how these homes came into being. Presented by the staff from Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's premier architectural masterpiece.
 Lunch: Lunch at Laurelville
 Afternoon: The group will depart via charter bus to visit another Wright-designed home. Kentuck Knob, located in Chalk Hill, Pennsylvania. Wright and his architects at Taliesin designed the Usonian home for the I.N. Hagan family, who resided there for almost 30 years. The tour of Kentuck Knob is further enhanced by sculptures located in the garden, the woods, and the meadow. 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. Please note: Visitors are transported up the hill to the house in a shuttle bus.There is considerable walking and standing during the one hour tour. The shuttle is available to return guests back to the visitor's center, but you may also choose to walk back via the sculpture meadow.
 Dinner: Dinner at Laurelville
 Evening: Enjoy a relaxed evening of games and fellowship.
   
Accommodations: Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Enjoy a private visit to Fallingwater, Wright's ultimate design masterpiece and named by the AIA as the “all-time greatest work of American architecture.” End an amazing day with dinner at one of the area's premier restaurants.
(Wednesday, May 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Laurelville
 Morning: The first presentation, led by Fallingwater staff will be "The Art at Fallingwater." This expertly led presentation will give you an insider's view as you engage with the private art collection on display within Fallingwater. While the house is a work of art in itself, the Kauffmans accrued an incredible collection from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Ando Hiroshige, and John James Audobon, as well as notable pieces of Tiffany glass work and ancient relics.
 Morning: The second morning presentation will be "Frank Lloyd Wright: Standing Strong." This will be a hands on session to engage participants in learning about one of the key architectural principals of Fallingwater and many other Wright designs.
 Lunch: Lunch at Laurelville
 Afternoon: You will be transported by charter bus to your final Wright destination. A living, breathing house in perfect harmony with it’s setting, Fallingwater is recognized today as arguably Frank Lloyd Wright’s finest work and the last great Frank Lloyd Wright house with its setting, original furnishings, and artwork intact. The building was voted the “best all-time work of American architecture” in a 1991 poll of members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). To date, more than 4 million people have visited this modern masterpiece. You will join this number with a first-class glimpse at the wonder of Fallingwater, near Mill Run, Pennsylvania. Guides from Fallingwater will share the secrets of Wright's masterpiece as you take in every turn and view. Opportunity will be given to enjoy the iconic overlook of the house and to browse the lovely Fallingwater Museum Shop. We'll be greeted at the site with a welcome reception featuring a special treat from the Fallingwater Cookbook, a collection of recipes from Elsie Henderson, the last cook of Fallingwater and one of our special guests on Friday morning. Please note: There is considerable walking and steps. A shuttle is available to and from the house and a video tour available of the 2nd floor for those unable to handle steps.
 Dinner: You'll end an amazing day with dinner at Out of the Fire Cafe, one of the area's premier restaurants. Out of the Fire Café is a family owned and operated upscale/casual restaurant serving New American cuisine year round. They are a Bring Your Own Beer or Wine establishment so don't forget to snag your beverage of choice earlier in the week, perhaps at Greendance Winery.
 Evening: The evening will be spent enjoying each other's company over fine food at the restaurant, so expect a late return back to Laurelville.
   
Accommodations: Laurelville Mennonite Church Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Meet Elsie Henderson, the longtime and last cook for the Kaufman family at Fallingwater, and take in her unforgettable stories of life in the house on the waterfall.
(Thursday, May 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at Laurelville
 Morning: Elsie Henderson, a special guest from the Fallingwater family will be the featured presenter during this morning's session. For decades beginning in the '30s, Elsie Henderson cooked for the Kaufmanns, the original owners of Fallingwater, and their many weekend guests, including Senator Ted Kennedy and Wright himself. Now at age 101, hear Elsie vividly recall her memories and anecdotes of life in the renowned house on the waterfall in a voice all her own. It's an experience that's not to be missed. You'll also want to have her autograph your personal copy of "The Fallingwater Cookbook: Elsie Henderson's Recipes and Memories" which is a collection of her recipes and memories.
 Morning: Now that you've spent time with his life, his work, and his career, hear from the man himself as you take in rare footage of Frank Lloyd Wright in a candid interview with Hugh Downs.
 Lunch: The program will conclude with an 11:00 lunch in the dining hall. Room check-out is 12:30 pm unless you have requested to extend your stay.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater: The House and its History


Author: Donald Hoffmann


Description: A total revision of the standard document on Fallingwater, the boldest, most personal architectural statement of Wright's mature years. Updated with valuable new material from the recently opened Frank Lloyd Wright Archives, the book gives special emphasis to Fallingwater's architectural innovations. "Fascinating." — The New York Times. 116 illustrations.



The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright


Author: Neil Levine


Description: Neil Levine's study of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, beginning with his work in Oak Park in the late 1880s and culminating in the construction of the Guggenheim museum in New York and the Marin County Civic Center in the 1950s, if the first comprehensive and in-depth analysis of the architect's entire career since the opening of the Wright Archives over a decade ago. The most celebrated and prolific of modern architects, Wright built more than four hundred buildings and designed at least twice as many more. The characteristic features of his work--the open plan, dynamic space, fragmented volumes, natural materials, and integral structure--established the basic way that we think about modern architecture. For a general audience, this engaging book provides an introduction to Wright's remarkable accomplishments, as seen against the background of his eventful and often tragic life. For the architect or the architectural historian, it will be an important source of new insights into the development of Wright's whole body of work. It integrates biographical and historical material in a chronologically ordered framework that makes sense of his enormously varied career, and it provides over four hundred illustrations running parallel to the text.





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