The second assignment is a 1,500-word Observation Essay that discusses the work in terms of close observation. Describe the work in detail. Discuss its program, site, spatial qualities, construction and materials. How is it used? Who built it, and who were its intended users? How does it relate to its physical context? Organize your observations hierarchically, so that your essay begins with the project’s most important details. Devote one paragraph to each important aspect of the work.
From style of writing, Chicago Manual Style or MLA.
I will add the first assignment that is tied to this project (falling water) so you can compare my style of writing. For this assignment, it’s required to only print sources, not internet-based sources. Also, do not reach conclusions or make arguments. Your focus and goal should be to clearly see the project, its physical gestures, its relationship to its surroundings, its impact, its context, its accessibility- to describe these qualities.
Fahringer, David C. “Preserving Bear Run: A 2000-Acre Conservancy for ‘Fallingwater.’” Landscape
Architecture, vol. 56, no. 1, 1965, pp. 38–40. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/44663641.
David Fahringer begins by providing insight into the surrounding landscape known as Bear Run
nature reserve that encompasses the stunning masterpiece of the Fallingwater House building. He
then briefly mentions the Kaufmann family, who were the ones responsible for the creation of
Fallingwater — designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. At first, the lush sanctuary was meant to
serve as a private residence for the wealthy Kaufmann family but it was later transformed into a
public resource along with the 2000 acre natural reserve that surrounded the estate. The author then
elaborates on the conservation efforts conducted by the Kaufmann foundation in conjunction with the
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to serve as a guarantee to safeguard the estate and preserve
its condition for all of time. In addition, he then touches on the innate ability of Frank Lloyd Wright to
have built such an impressive structure built into the landscape on top of waterfall, which was one of
a kind for its time (1935) and even today it still stands as a mesmerizing piece of organic
Gentle, Thom, and Victoria Jefferies. “Conservation of Furniture at Frank Lloyd Wright’s
Fallingwater.” APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology, vol. 21, no. 3/4, 1989, pp.
55–61. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1504296.
Authored by Thom Gentle and Victoria Jefferies, two conservators specialized in woodwork and
furniture conservation, this piece of writing focuses primarily on a furniture conservation project
conducted in the late 1980s (1989) with the purpose of restoring and preserving the interior furniture
of the Fallingwater House that required extensive restoration work at the time of this publishing.
Even though it would be difficult to maintain its originality, the conservators reassured how they
would still maintain the harmonious atmosphere of the interiors of the edifice for what it was initially
built for- to simulate a continuous space in nature with its horizontal emphasis. The authors then
begin to break down how the project would be conducted. First , they provided a short review on
where the restoration effort would take place. They focused on the different pieces of furniture that
would need restoring, such as the free standing furniture, built in wood, and even water leaks that
had contributed to the majority of the structural damage on the exterior of the residence. They also
provided insight into the environmental obstacles that had played a key role in deterioration of the
property such as the humid climate caused by the falls and the vast amount of natural light that
permeated the residence. Moreover, after the restoration work was completed, the authors provided
an evaluation on how certain conservation methods which included temperature/humidity control and
natural light control could be applied for future preservation efforts on the property.
Brooks, H. Allen, and Edgar Kaufmann. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 47, no.
4, 1988, pp. 430–431. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/990397.
In this short excerpt, the author provides an overview of Edgar Kaufmann Jr’s remarks in his
own book “Fallingwater, a Frank Lloyd Wright Country House”. He highlights how Kaufmann elaborates
on how Fallingwater House came to fruition. It all began with Kaufmann jr’s interest in becoming a painter,
his studies in Europe, and his experience reading Wright’s “An Autobiography all which led to the
inspiration of the Fallingwater project. The author further elaborates his analysis of the book by
emphasizing on Kaufmann senior’s role in the implementation of his son’s idea to build his dream
weekend retreat home. He further explains how Kaufmann jr had acted as an intermediary between his
father and architect Frank Lloyd Wright by providing positive criticism into the abstract thought process of
Wright that made the achievement of Fallingwater an executable piece of architecture. In addition, the
author shines light into the unknown incongruencies between Wright and Kaufmann’s in respect to the
design process that created a few obstacles along the way, such as redefining key pieces in the structural
formation of the residence. To conclude, Brooks interprets how in his book, Kaufmann intends to
positively accredit Wright’s work as revolutionary, such that in 1963 it was consigned to the Western
Pennsylvania Conservancy as a historic house to accommodate the large volume of tourists who shared
a sense of deep admiration for the project.
“EDGAR J. KAUFMANN JR. AND THE FALLINGWATER LEGACY: The Dinner Recipes.” The
Fallingwater Cookbook: Elsie Henderson’s Recipes and Memories, by SUZANNE MARTINSON et
al., University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 2008, pp. 68–74. JSTOR,
This passage from “The Fallingwater Cookbook: Elsie Henderson’s Recipes and Memories”
chronicles the relationship between Edgar Kaufmann Jr and Elsie Henderson, his longtime cook and
confidant. It begins by outlining Kaufmann’s beginnings and how he had renounced to take over his
parent’s successful business so he could pursue his professional calling as an art curator,college
professor, among other passionate endeavours. But in the end, Kaufmann’s promoting of Wright’s
work along with Fallingwater eventually became his life’s work. Furthermore, the author elaborates
on Kaufmann’s particular way of managing the staff that cared for this estate after his parents’ death.
She highlights his deep respect for his staff, which were predominantly African American and depicts
his courteous nature in how he would interact with the staff. In addition, the passage also reinforces
Kaufmann’s prioritization on keeping Fallingwater House intact and as original as possible while still
allowing the public to experience the liberating feeling of what it was like to like in such a unique
residence. All in all, this excerpt provided a personalized outlook on Kaufmann’s relationship with
Elsie and how it correlates with the work behind the intrinsic nature of the Fallingwater building.
Jerome, Pamela, et al. “Fallingwater Part 2: Materials-Conservation Efforts at Frank Lloyd Wright’s
Masterpiece.” APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology, vol. 37, no. 2/3, 2006, pp.
3–11. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40004684.
The authors of the journal begin by presenting a brief factual description of what Fallingwater
has meant for the architectural community and its clear representation as a 20th century
masterpiece. It provides a technical overview of the preeminent flaws that contributed to numerous
restoration efforts of the property leading to the current one at the time of publishing. In then laid out
a detailed interpretation of the material oriented restoration project conducted from 2001-2005 in four
phases. Under the direction of WASA (Wank Adams Slavin Associates LLP, the authors place an
emphasis piece by piece, on the different areas around the compound that needed restoration done.
For instance, they accentuate on the leaks all around and how moisture penetration was one of the
gravest eminent threats that contributed to the deterioration and its need for habitual conservation.
Another concern was corrosion, particularly in the window/door casements made of steel due to
damp environment. To conclude, after mentioning in great detail the amelioration techniques
associated with the safeguarding of Fallingwater, the authors stressed how there still existed some
concerns such as the paint that had remained unsettled for the future.