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1885
Pennsylvania

Frank Lloyd Wright: Revolutionary Contributions to Modern Architecture

Join experts in the Laurel Mountains to immerse yourself in the works of Frank Lloyd Wright as you explore three of his most iconic designs, including a visit to Fallingwater.
Rating (5)
Program No. 1885RJ
Length
5 days
Starts at
979
Pennsylvania

Frank Lloyd Wright: Revolutionary Contributions to Modern Architecture

Join experts in the Laurel Mountains to immerse yourself in the works of Frank Lloyd Wright as you explore three of his most iconic designs, including a visit to Fallingwater.
Length
5 days
Starts at
979
Length
5 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
979
Program No. 1885RJ

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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 25 - Sep 29, 2022
Starting at
979
Apr 2 - Apr 6, 2023
Starting at
1,149
Apr 30 - May 4, 2023
Starting at
1,149
Sep 24 - Sep 28, 2023
Starting at
1,149
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 25 - Sep 29, 2022
Starting at
1,229
Apr 2 - Apr 6, 2023
Starting at
1,409
Apr 30 - May 4, 2023
Starting at
1,409
Sep 24 - Sep 28, 2023
Starting at
1,409

At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Moderate walking and standing on each of the field trips. Morning lectures followed by afternoon field trips to the houses to experience them as works of art. There are approximately 100 stairs to negotiate at Fallingwater.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Visit Fallingwater, Wright's best essay on the harmony between architecture and nature.
  • Admire a superb example of Wright’s organic architecture at Kentuck 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.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Amy Humbert Fallingwater Primary Instructor
Amy Humbert has been employed in the Fallingwater Education department since 1986 and currently manages the school and outreach programs that are offered. She is a second-generation employee of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Her late father, Frank “Lee” Lowden, was a naturalist at Ferncliff in Ohiopyle and also at the Bear Run Nature Reserve adjacent to Fallingwater. Amy lives close by in Ohiopyle with her husband, Roger, who was employed for a number of years in Fallingwater’s Preservation department.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Amy Humbert Fallingwater Primary Instructor
Amy Humbert Fallingwater Primary Instructor View biography
Amy Humbert has been employed in the Fallingwater Education department since 1986 and currently manages the school and outreach programs that are offered. She is a second-generation employee of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. Her late father, Frank “Lee” Lowden, was a naturalist at Ferncliff in Ohiopyle and also at the Bear Run Nature Reserve adjacent to Fallingwater. Amy lives close by in Ohiopyle with her husband, Roger, who was employed for a number of years in Fallingwater’s Preservation department.
Profile Image of Mary Kaufman Laurelville Site Coordinator
Mary Kaufman Laurelville Site Coordinator View biography
Mary Kaufman holds degrees in journalism-professional writing and in communications-PR. She began her career at VisitPittsburgh and is the new program director at Laurelville. A Penn State Master Gardener, she finds meaning in volunteering, teaching, and gardening. Mary co-owns a small plant nursery and enjoys garden design, biking, hiking, yoga, reading, cooking, and being outdoors.
Profile Image of Cathy Kumor MS CHES RYT Yoga instructor
Cathy Kumor MS CHES RYT Yoga instructor View biography
Cathy Kumor (MS, CHES, RYT) is a retired heath care professional who works as a yoga instructor and health and wellness consultant. Cathy has presented educational offerings for Highmark, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, local businesses, and community groups as well as presenting at PA State DUI Association, the National SOPHE Conference and the National Wellness Institute. She is a tireless volunteer who raises funds for library and community projects with her classes.
Profile Image of Ashley Andrykovitch Fallingwater Art Lecture
Ashley Andrykovitch Fallingwater Art Lecture View biography
Ashley Andrykovitch is the Curator of Education at Fallingwater. She holds a MA in Education from Seton Hill University, a Certificate of 19th and 20th Century Fine Art History from Sotheby's Institute, and a BA in Studio Art from Saint Vincent College. Prior to working at Fallingwater, Andrykovitch was Assistant Curator of Education at Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. She is also a visual artist and resident at UnSmoke Systems in Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Profile Image of Timothy Fischer Kentuck Knob Lecture/Manager
Timothy Fischer Kentuck Knob Lecture/Manager View biography
Timothy Fischer has been a Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiast for more than 20 years, studying the architect's work and life. He has worked at Frank Lloyd Wright's House on Kentuck Knob since 2018. Tim graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh with a degree in Visual Communications. He knowledge of Frank Lloyd Wright and Kentuck Knob is encyclopedic. He lives in Pittsburgh.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright
by Neil Levine
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.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater: The House and its History
by Donald Hoffmann
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.
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5 days
4 nights
12 meals
4 B 1BR 3 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Tour, Welcome Dinner
Mount Pleasant, PA
D
Laurelville Retreat Center

Activity note: Check-in from 5:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:00 p.m. Register with the program staff at the Road Scholar table in the Dining Hall lobby and receive your room assignment and welcome packet. Light snacks available. Then take your luggage to your lodging building and return to the Dining Hall for dinner. If arriving after 7 p.m., contact your site coordinator.

Dinner: In the Dining Hall.

Evening: Orientation. From the Dining Hall, we take a quick tour of grounds on "The People Mover," an open-air-type wagon ride. Back at our lodging, the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID guidelines and requirements throughout the program. This is a Road Scholar Retreats program which includes opportunities for light morning exercise, interaction with members of the local community, and a farm-to-table or locally sourced meal. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leaders will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Polymath Park's Duncan House and Mantyla House; Documentary
Mount Pleasant, PA
B,L,D
Laurelville Retreat Center

Activity note: Light walking on gravel trail beside Jacob’s Creek. Getting on/off a motorcoach several times. Walking 0.5 miles or riding on gravel road to Duncan and Mantyla Houses. Approximately 40 minutes of walking and standing on gravel and inside house; less then 6 stairs inside house.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast in our lodging (the Solarhouse).

Morning: Optional walk along the creek. We’ll gather in the Solarhouse for this morning’s presentation, entitled "Wright's Patrons and Projects" presented by the staff from Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's premier architectural masterpiece. We’ll have an in-depth look at the controversy that often surrounded Wright and his clients. It is said that one of Wright's 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 Wright’s 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.

Lunch: We’ll board a motorcoach and travel to Polymath Park for a light lunch at Tree Tops, the on-site restaurant.

Afternoon: Following lunch, we will explore the world of organic architecture through the eyes of Frank Lloyd Wright while enjoying the scenic Laurel Highlands’ surroundings. During our visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Duncan House and Mantyla House, we will experience the height of Usonian Style with the help of knowledgeable docents. Wright created Usonians for everyday life in the 1950s. We will marvel at the fascinating story of preserving these two homes for future generations. We will return early to Laurelville for free time until dinner.

Dinner: Buffet style in the dining hall. We’ll take in some live entertainment.

Evening: Following dinner, enjoy free time or part one of a special showing of the Ken Burns documentary on Frank Lloyd Wright (part one is approximately 85 minutes). Film description: “Frank Lloyd Wright was was an authentic American genius, designing 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 92 years, he fathered seven children, married three times, and 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.”

DAY
3
Yoga, Morning Lectures, Fallingwater visit, Documentary
Mount Pleasant, PA
B,L,D
Laurelville Retreat Center

Activity note: Morning yoga by a certified instructor is provided early. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving 21 miles, approximately 40 minutes to Fallingwater, with a brief visit before to Ohiopyle State Park's stunning waterfall and Visitor's Center. Getting on/off a shuttle bus; considerable walking; approximately 100 steps throughout the house; video demonstration of the second floor for those unable to climb steps.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the Solarhouse for a gentle-paced morning before our first program.

Morning: Optional early yoga class.The first presentation, led by Fallingwater staff, will be "The Art at Fallingwater," 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 Audubon, as well as notable pieces of Tiffany glass work and ancient relics. The second morning presentation will be "Frank Lloyd Wright: Holding Up Fallingwater." This will be a hands-on session to engage participants in learning about one of the key architectural principles of Fallingwater and many other Wright designs.

Lunch: Buffet style in the Dining Hall.

Afternoon: We will travel by motorcoach to Fallingwater. 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 whom we'll learn more about on Thursday. 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. A living, breathing house in perfect harmony with its setting, 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. Staff from Fallingwater will share the secrets of Wright's masterpiece as you take in every turn and view. We’ll have an opportunity to enjoy the iconic overlook of the house and to browse the lovely Fallingwater Museum Shop.

Dinner: Buffet style in the Dining Hall.

Evening: Following dinner, enjoy free time all evening or watch part two of the Ken Burns documentary on the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright (approximately 70 minutes).

DAY
4
Morning Lectures, Kentuck Knob House, dinner off-site
Mount Pleasant, PA
B,L,D
Laurelville Retreat Center

Activity note: Guided, optional early morning hike; roots and rocks on trail. Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 30 miles, approximately 45 minutes. Getting on/off a shuttle bus at Kentuck Knob; considerable walking/standing for one hour.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the Solarhouse for free time and a gentle-paced morning before our program begins.

Morning: Free time or optional walk to Sunset Hill to soak in the beauty of some of our 600 acres and visit the labyrinth. Sturdy shoes and walking sticks recommended. The expert staff from Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob will provide our mid-morning program. You'll see how this Wright house was also inspired by the landscape.

Lunch: Buffet style in the Dining Hall.

Afternoon: The group will depart via motorcoach to visit another Wright-designed home, Kentuck Knob, located in Chalk Hill, Pa. Wright and his architects at Taliesin designed the Usonian home for the I.N. Hagan family, who resided there for almost 30 years. The visit to Kentuck Knob is further enhanced by unsual collections and 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 divided into groups and transported up the hill to the house in a shuttle bus. There is considerable walking and standing during the one-hour visit. The shuttle is available to return guests back to the visitor center and gift shop, but you may also choose to walk back via the sculpture meadow if time allows.

Dinner: We will end an amazing day with dinner at Out of the Fire Café, a family-owned, premier area restaurant. Share favorite experiences and enjoy camaraderie with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell four-course dinner. Guests may choose to purchase alcoholic beverages.

Evening: The evening will be spent enjoying each other's company over fine food, so expect a late return back to Laurelville. Prepare for check-out and departure tomorrow.

DAY
5
"Saving Fallingwater" & Elsie Henderson; Program Concludes
Mount Pleasant, PA
B,BR

Activity note: Check-out 12:30 p.m.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast in the Solarhouse for free time and a gentle-paced morning before our program begins.

Morning: The morning begins with a DVD, "Saving Fallingwater" to learn what innovative preservation approaches were implemented to preserve one of the most famous house museums in the world. Then enjoy a video interview of Elsie Henderson, who cooked for the original owners of Fallingwater – and their many weekend guests, including Senator Ted Kennedy and Wright himself. Elsie vividly recalls her memories and anecdotes of life in the renowned house on the waterfall in a voice all her own. Elsie is featured in a book written with her stories, pictures, and recipes, "The Fallingwater Cookbook: Elsie Henderson's Recipes and Memories." We’ll then discuss the videos.

Brunch: In the Dining Hall. This concludes our program.

Afternoon: Check out is by 12:30 p.m. Please leave your keys in your room. You are welcome to enjoy Laurelville's grounds, trails, creek, pollinator gardens, labyrinth, and outdoor spaces after check out. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.