At Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob

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Kentuck Knob

Last week, while visiting my family on the east coast, I spent two lovely days in the Laural Highlands of Pennsylvania. My main goal was a visit to Fallingwater, but while perusing its website I found that there was another Frank Lloyd Wright home in the area, called Kentuck Knob.

Kentuck Knob, otherwise known as the I.N. Hagan House, is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed deluxe Usonian home. It was completed in 1956 and is located about 7 miles from the Kaufmann’s Fallingwater. The Hagans, who were friends of the Kaufmanns, asked then 86 year-old Wright to design their full-time residence on 80 acres of property which included the summit of Kentuck Knob. It is constructed of tidewater red cypress, local sandstone, glass, and topped with a copper roof. The Hagans lived here for 30 years, until 1986, when they sold the property to Lord Peter Palumbo of London, England, who still owns it today. It was opened to the public in 1996.

Photos from the front

View of the main entrance, from underneath the carport

FLW “cherokee red” signature tile (see right of entrance, above)
Left of the entrance – window cutouts and overhang view

Dedication Plaque, underneath carport

Storage area attached to the carport, opposite of main entrance

Detail of overhead lighting

Lamp post at the foot of the drive


Photos from the back

Water feature, back patio view

Water feature, detail

Back patio entrance, open hexagon skylights

View of the back of the house, through the trees

Flagstone patio, detail

View from the scenic overlook, near the house

I made reservations to Kentuck Knob for our first day. I knew pretty much nothing about it (unlike Fallingwater), and despite its smaller size I knew it was an opportunity not to be missed. It’s no surprise that it turned out to be a lovely home, thoughtfully designed and in perfect harmony with its surrounding. It’s shape and materials are somewhat discreet, but the scalloped edging, artful window cutouts and the unique hexagon openings over the rear terrace give it an abundance of charming character.

Photos from the grounds (sculpture garden and other curiosities)

The cutest little white caterpillar on a description plaque near the trail

Sculpture (detail): Red Army (1991), Ray Smith (1945- )

Sculpture (detail): Inside of an old fashioned British phone booth

Sculpture: Finial from One, Poultry, London EC4, 1870

According to a nearby plaque, the finial above was the upperemost element of a building known as Number One, Poultry in the heart of the city of London. It was designed by Victorian Architect John Belcher Jr. in the Venetian-Gothic Style. Apparently the building was replaced in 1998 and the finial was shipped to the United States, first for the grounds of the Farnsworth House (designed by Professor Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in Plano, Illinois), but eventually transported to Kentuck Knob in 2003.

Sculpture: Berlin Wall Section (1961-1989) East German, Reinforced Concrete

Sculpture: Apple Core (1990) Claes Oldenburg (1929- )

Sculpture: Edwardian Post Box, circa 1902, London, England
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10 thoughts on “At Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob

  1. Thanks for the info on Kentucky Knob. My daughter got me interested in architecture – particularly FLW – and I’ve been to several of his projects in California, Arizona, and PA (Fallingwater twice) but I didn’t know about KK, so the next time I’m in PA I’ll be sure to stop by. The photos of the outside of the building are beautiful.

  2. Forgive me if I’m sending this twice…I’m relatively new to blogging and still learning the ropes.

    What I wrote earlier – and think I sent – was that my daughter got me hooked on architecture and FLW in particular, so I’ve seen his work in California, Arizona and PA (Fallingwater twice). I wasn’t aware of KK and will definitely stop by the next time I’m in PA.

    You took some great photos of both places. Thanks…
    Ken

  3. Hi Ken,

    Thanks for leaving your response. I’m glad you found this post interesting and enjoyed the photos. I hope to be as well traveled (regarding FLW) as you have been someday.

    Emily

  4. very cool, thanks for the photos, considering this was done in 1956 it’s amazing to me that more organic architecture like this isn’t in more places….

  5. ENVY ENVY ENVY ENVY ENVY

    😉

  6. ooo. shame i didn’t know about this in 2004 when i visited fallingwater… darn it! not sure i will ever get back there… another good one is the loren house on outskirts of washington dc. very small but fabulous flw house. we loved it as well as fallingwater although so hugely different.

  7. I WAS PRIVILEDGED TO TAKE THE TOUR THROUGH KENTUCK KNOB AND WAS SURPRISED TO FIND THAT I COULD BE SURPRISED BY FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT. I THOUGHT I KNEW HIM UNTIL I SAW THIS HOUSE…WHAT MASTER OF SMALL SPACE!!! AS A LOVER OF SMALL SPACES THIS WAS A DELIGHT AND INSPIRATION FOR ME.

  8. I’ve visited Fallingwater many times, once just to walk the grounds, which are beautiful. Finally heard about Kentuck Knob and took the tour a few years ago. What a fantastic place. I was ready to move in (if only)! Remember that you need reservations to tour the house. You have some great pictures of this home in your blog.

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  10. We will be visiting Falling Waters and Kentuck Knob in a few days. Your description was very helpful the pictures were awesome. Thank you for your posting of them!

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