Bernadine and I.N. Hagan Residence, “Kentuck Knob” (1954)
Chalk Hill, Pennsylvania
Located a few miles away from Fallingwater, Kentuck Knob is another one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most acclaimed structures. The house was commissioned by the Hagans, who fell in love with their friend Kaufmann’s Fallingwater. Wright accepted the commission despite his work on several major projects such as the Guggenheim and Beth Sholom Synagogue, saying that he could “shake [Kentuck Knob] out of his sleeve at will.” He never even visited the site until after construction, which shows a significant change in attitude toward sites from his earlier career. The house nestles in the crest of a mountain near Uniontown of Western Pennsylvania. It is a small, single storey Usonian, using native sandstone and cypress. The stone wall makes up the completely functional kitchen and the structural core of the building, extruding up and singly disrupting the horizontality of the copper roof. The natural materials, open floorplan, walls of glass and cantilevered overhangs all work together to integrate the interior with the exterior, showcasing Wright’s final refinements of organic architecture. The building is currently owned by Lord Palumbo, also the owner of Mies’ Farnsworth House.