Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob

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723 Kentuck Road (Chalk Hill-Ohiopyle Rd), Chalkhill, PA, USA
kentuckknob.com - (724) 329-1901

Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob Chalkhill Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
110 reviews
Kentuck Knob Sep 27, 2013
Kentuck Knob was one of the last homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. He only paid it one visit during its construction and never bothered to see the final result, quite confidant that it was as brilliant as his design (humility was not in his nature). The name predates the house, the land once owned by a settler who planned on moving to Kentucky, changed his mind, and hence called the property Little Kentuck.

Kentuck Knob was bought in the early 1980s by the wealthy British art collector Lord Peter Palumbo and remains a private home. Most of the year though it is open to the public and operated by the same non-profit group that oversees the other, more famous, Wright house Fallingwater that is only twenty minutes away. Palumbo has added a sculpture garden with modern and postmodern works that is a short walk from the house.

In some respects I enjoyed Kentuck Knob more than Fallingwater. It was far less crowded, has some fantastic views of the surrounding mountains that Fallingwater lacks, and contains the extensive art collection on the grounds. A small bus takes you up to the house for the hour long tour. You can either take the bus back or stroll along the trails to see the artworks. Photography is not permited inside.

There is a small visitor center that serves drinks and snacks. My only complaint is the conditions of the bathrooms that are kept in a separate building. I don't think the men's room has been cleaned since Lord Palumbo bought it thirty years ago. You can easily see both Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater in one day and can purchase your tickets at the same time through the Fallingwater website.
Entrance
Elaborate bird houses
Visitor center
Apple Core by Claes Oldenburg
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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cotton_foam says:
Very interesting place to visit! Thank you for sharing! Pictures says a lot as well about the place! I hope this gets featured one day soon!!
Posted on: Sep 28, 2013
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pinchora pinchora
162 reviews
A beautiful cottage in the country Mar 04, 2008
Kentuck Knob was completed in 1956 for the Hagan family... founder of Hagan Ice Cream... by Frank Lloyd Wright (most of you probably know him as the designer for the Guggenheim Museum in NYC). He has another house about 40 miles away called Falling Water (so if you're in the area you have to go see both of them!!! They are a treat and I'll explain more on that in the next paragraphs. But the house got bought by Lord and Lady Palumbo, of London and they opened the house to the public in 1996 for everyone to enjoy.

But my friend from New York, Ronnie, is a huge architecture fan. She loves Frank Lloyd Wrights work. He grew up in Wisconsin in the late 1800's and moved to Chicago where he has a lot of houses designed in both states. He is famous for his work because he defies structural design by not using support beams and making the house look one with the surroundings so it is very organic. He was so preoccupied with the artistic culture of the design that he built the furniture into the wall, like the beds and the sofa, so that way the family couldn't replace it with something that didn't match the house and so that way the art wouldn't be ruined.

When designing he uses natural light very well... on the outside of the living room of Kentuck Knob there are octagonal skylights on the awning of the patio. This was created like this so that at sunset the design would shine through the clear windows and cascade the design onto the floor of the living room! The other cool thing is that he doesn't have normal heating through the rooms. To keep them organic he didn't want radiators to show so he has water under the floor boards and a heater to heat the water... which is pretty cool, but expensive to maintain!

During the tour of the house we got taken into the kitchen which was made octagonally in the center of the house so the only light coming through was through the skylight in the ceiling. The floor was cork and the cooktop for cooking was stainless steel and could fold down from the wall so that way the unorganic aspect of the house could be discretely hidden away when not in use. The one problem I had with this... and this is because I was an appliance supervisor at work at the time... is that the the Palumbo family bought a bisque, top freezer refrigerator to put in their octagonal kitchen that was endorned with stainless appliances... it was horribly tacky.

But it is a good time and I recommend it for everyone. And on nice days you can hike around the surround country side the house is on and have a picnic! Reservations are not required but are recommended. But if you go down the road to Falling Water in Mill Run I highly suggest reservations!
The back yard
The front yard bird houses
The stoop
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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Aditu Aditu
14 reviews
Aug 16, 2007
Kentuck Knob was built by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Hagan family in 1953. The Hagan's, of ice cream fame, were friends of the Kaufman family who lived in another Frank Lloyd Wright home Falling Water. The home is built on 80 acres in the Laurel Highland Mountains and the Hagan family lived in the home until 1986 when it was sold to Lord Palumbo from London. Kentuck Knob has been open to the public since 1986.

The house itself is very striking with it's odd angles and shapes. It is a typical Frank Lloyd Wright home in some ways but much bigger than his usual Usonian design. The porch is absolutely amazing with hexagonal holes in the roof to allow the sun and rain down. Outside the house there is a small water garden, some beautiful windchimes and magnificent views of the Laurel Highlands. There is also a sculpture garden behind the visitor center which is well worth it to walk through. You are taken on a tour of the house and our guide was very knowlegable about all things Frank Lloyd Wright. I would definitely recommend touring Kentuck Knob if you're in the Laurel Highlands.
The back of the house
The side.
The view of the Laurel Highlands.
Part of the sculpture garden.
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Aditu says:
LOL, me either most of them I was like what the heck is that, lol.
Posted on: Sep 21, 2008

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