In-state architectural masterwork visited by Women in Construction

Published 11.09.2022

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The 12-member Penn College contingent enjoys its scenic trip to the popular attraction.A driveway leads to the entrance of Fallingwater, named for the waterfall that flows beneath the house.Ritter (left) and Oberlin stand outside Fallingwater, inhabiting the cantilevered structure's coalescence of art and nature.The group moves inside the Kauffman family's former woodland retreat, designed in the 1930s for the owners of Pittsburgh's largest department store, where its original artwork and furnishings remain intact.Five students from Penn College Women in Construction, their family members and three college co-workers toured Frank Lloyd Wright's famed Fallingwater in Fayette County on Saturday.

"The weather was perfect, and it was cool to see the property in the fall," said club President Amanda F. Ritter, of Williamsport, a building science & sustainable design: architectural technology concentration student. "We learned a lot about the residence and how the Kaufmann family lived in the house. We also learned how they dealt with the issues that the architecture caused, and how Mr. Wright dealt with those issues when he was alive."

There were water-related complications that came with the design of the house, which Wright cured by cutting into the concrete and making drainage paths for the water to the exterior; the group also learned of significant remediation and renovation undertaken during the 2000s.

Other students making the 200-mile trip to Fallingwater, now owned by a conservancy and open to the public as a museum: Ashley R. Chilson, Mansfield, residential construction technology & management; Maya A. Lawton, Coudersport, bachelor of architecture; Makenzie E. Witmer, Bellefonte, construction management; and Genevive J. Yamelski, Hunlock Creek, machine tool technology. They were joined by Ellyn A. Lester, assistant dean of construction and architectural technologies, and Jessica U. Oberlin, assistant professor and librarian, information technology initiatives, the club's co-advisers ; and Crystal J. Rice, library operations/public services coordinator.

Photos provided