Frank Lloyd Wright rare working developmental plans Fallingwater

24 Feb

Incredibly rare set of five original pencil and colored pencil developmental architectural drawings of Wright’s Fallingwater masterpiece, on large onionskin pages, each approximately 40 x 28, all done in an unknown hand, with the first page titled in pencil, “Revised Drawing Kaufmann House, July 27, 1936, Frank Lloyd Wright Architect,” also in an unknown hand. Each page is also notated “File B-111A,” and numbered one through five. Page one shows a remarkably detailed overhead view of the first and second floor plans of the home, all labeled with accurate measurements, with notes on the side indicating, “All bath rooms to have cork floors,” and “1st floor lavatory to have stone paving.” Several additional pencil sketches have been added to the first page as well, including a window, and staircase, again in an unknown hand, as well as several notations to individual areas of the drawing.

Second page is a detailed wiring schematic of the entire home, listing 15 different circuits. Third page shows an overhead view of roof and third floor, with the fourth page showing details of the basement, complete with boulders, a wine cellar and boiler room, with the shore line of Bear Run added to the bottom portion of the drawing, and the final page shows an overhead view of the second floor. Rolled and in overall fine condition, with some paper loss to lower right corner of first page, expected handling wear and soiling, and some scattered light creases.

Thought to be in the twilight of his career in the mid-1930s, Wright used the project of Fallingwater as an opportunity to yet again leave his mark on American architecture. Commissioned by Pittsburgh businessman Edgar Kaufmann to build a weekend getaway for his family in the lush woods of Mill Run, Pennsylvania, Wright first visited the site in 1934. Anticipating a quiet retreat with spectacular views of the property’s waterfalls, Kaufmann was surprised—and more than a bit upset—when he saw the plans nine months later; with a series of cantilevers rising over 30 feet above the water, the home was to be built directly over the falls. After much back-and-forth and a long series of design revisions (which would continue throughout the arduous building process, as evidenced by these blueprints), the two men came to agreement on the design and commenced building in the spring of 1936. Upon its completion three years later, the house became an instant wonder, capturing the imagination of the public and bringing Wright back into the limelight. To this day it remains his most famous and widely recognized work, earning the designation of a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Blueprints from any Wright work are highly sought-after; this set, bearing intricate details of his crowning achievement, is one of the finest Wright items we have ever offered. RR Auction COA.

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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Frank Lloyd Wright


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