Life, on occasion, becomes a matter of serendipity. When circumstances conspire to propel one in a certain direction, it is best to go with the flow, or so I have found, even if the precise destination is at the time unknown.
My purchase of Kentuck Knob in 1986 fall into such a category. A visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s fabled Fallingwater in the company of my eldest daughter, Laura, who was reading history of art, ended with the casual remark from our guide that there was another house by the same architect just down the road; since time was not pressing, why did we not take the opportunity of killing two birds with one stone, as it were?
I went, I saw, I was conquered – at least from the exterior. The house was unoccupied at the time, and I was unable to gain access to the magical spaces that lay, in my imagination, behind the front door. A second visit was therefore essential, and indeed was arranged a few weeks later. My ardor burned bright as ever – brighter still, in fact, when the interior of the house not only met, but exceeded, my expectations. And, thus, the purchase was made.
I think that both I and the State of Pennsylvania owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Hagan for an inspired commission from an architect of legendary renown. The site, moreover, is of a spectacular beauty that never palls whatever the season and whatever the gap between visits, whether one month or ten minutes. The combination of location and design is therefore irresistible to my wife and our children, and we feel enormously privileged to own such a masterpiece and enormously gratified that so many visitors seem to want to come to share our pleasure in the experience of a home that holds, and will always hold, a very special place in our affections.
May 6, 1998
from Frank Lloyd Wright’s House on Kentuck Knob by Donald Hoffman