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Fallingwater: Preserving a 20th Century Icon

October 16, 2017

Warner Free Lecture Series 

Friday, Oct. 20th at 7pm

Volunteers Hall  

Fallingwater is arguably Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece of organic architecture.  Dramatically sited over a waterfall, it is known the world over for its soaring cantilevers. However, in 1995 a graduate student who had developed a computer model of the structural system of one of Fallingwater’s primary cantilevers alerted the building’s owner, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC), to the possibility that at least some of the cantilevers might be in trouble.  In an effort to better understand the situation, Robert Silman Associates, Consulting Structural Engineers, New York, was commissioned by the WPC to undertake a study of the cantilevers in question.  Their findings confirmed the student’s suspicion that indeed they were in danger of failing.  The need to strengthen the cantilevers prompted an assessment of all the structural and architectural conditions in the building and led the WPC to undertake the first comprehensive restoration of Fallingwater and its site.

Please join the Warner Free Lecture Trustand Robert Silman as he shares his experience and perspective in connection with the efforts to save this 20th century icon of architectural design.