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Ffestiniog
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817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Hope I'm in the right forum here. I'm visiting the states from England in a few months and will be paying a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's "Falling Water" from Pittsburgh.

Can anybody tell me how long it would take to travel there by car from central Pittsburgh, and also where in relation to central P'burgh it is (e.g. south west)?

Also, what would people recommend I go and check out if I have a spare day to spend in Pittsburgh?

Many thanks :)
 

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City Of Brotherly Love
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659 Posts
I made the trip to Fallingwater House by Frank Lloyd Wright about 15 years ago. It was excellent ... well worth the trip. Easiest way to get there is by car. Remember, do not just show up, it's not that kind of museum, so you must make a reservation in advance (at least one or two days). It is not that close to Pittsburgh, I remember it being an hour drive to Ohiopyle, the nearest town (if my memory serves me).

This is not very far from Shanksville, where the "4th Plane" went down on Sept. 11th, 2001.

Google the directions. I recall there were two options: the "quick" tour or the (slightly more expensive) "in depth - or longer - tour" ... take the longer the tour, it's worth it.

Let us know how your trip went.
 

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Lovin' city life
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210 Posts
Pittsburgh is one of America's greatest cities, you'll be happy to visit. Fallingwater is about an hour and a half or so from downtown, I've been there in the past few months but can't remember exactly how long, but its in a fairly rural area so it takes a while to get there.

So far as the city goes, you'll want to do downtown, Mt Washington, go east to Oakland, Shadyside, Bloomfield, and even venture into East Liberty if you like old churches. There is a Presbyterian church that is over 300ft tall with ornate architecture and isn't a structure you find often in America.

If you are a museum addict, Pittsburgh has world class museums. Its the home of the Carnegie museums and the Natural History and Art museum is a cool place to visit.

If you are into the arts and theatre, make sure you book some tickets for the theatre district downtown. Pittsburgh has about 6 theatres within a few blocks in the north side of the Golden Triangle.

If you like art museums don't miss the Andy Warhol museum, its 8 floors of his work and is just across the river on the north side's riverbanks.

If you want hot nightlife, head to South Side. Carson St is one of the busiest club districts in the nation. You'll find a flavor to satisfy you, just search online for what kind of venue you prefer be it electronic, grunge, rock, etc. If Carson St is too college kid oriented for you, try Station Square just across downtown, or downtown's clubs. The Strip District has some nice venues as well, but they are more sketchy at night.

There are a few comedy clubs in the city, but the newest one is actually in the new Waterfront area which is a suburban/new urban mall type deal in Homestead, its only 20-30 mins from downtown depending on traffic.

I recommend getting a downtown hotel, the transit system here is top notch and can take you anywhere you need from there, and the downtown subway is free of charge within the 4 stops in the Golden Triangle: Gateway Center, Wood St, Steel Plaza, and 1st Ave Station.

Also, if you're in Oakland you'll want to take a self-induced tour up to the top of the Cathedral of Learning and tour the international study rooms in the base. Walk along Forbes and 5th avenues and you may soak in some nice architecture, such as the War Memorial complex where Obama had his speeches while in town.

Of course all the typical tourist stuff is available, the Gateway Clipper is in Station Square and they do 1 hr water tours for a fee. Search google if interested. There are also Ducky tours that do water boats that drive on land and are a seamless tour.

Enjoy!
 

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Ffestiniog
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817 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for that very helpful info, heckles.

I'm really looking forward to my visit. I like the look of all the bridges in Pittsburgh, which add to the sense of place.

Sounds like there is plenty to do. We couldn't find any decent, affordable hotels in the centre (the hotel accommodation seems to be a problem there), so we are staying at the Crown Plaza (Pittsburgh South).

Is that easily accessible from the centre by public transport? Is there anything around there of any interest? Is it well placed for Falling Water by car?

Many thanks
:)
 

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Lovin' city life
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210 Posts
The Crowne Plaza hotel is in a suburban location beside South Hills Village mall, but its not even a 10 minute walk to the South Hills Village T station or the one on the other side of the street. You can get downtown in about 30 minutes on the 47S trains it'll be 40 minutes on the 42S train since it goes through Dormont and Mt Lebanon.

To get downtown from the airport, you will take the 28x Airport Flyer bus, its quick and convenient. I estimate if you take public transport to your hotel in SHV (not recommended if you are worried about time, but you can try it) it will take just over an hour to get the bus downtown, walk to the subway station and transfer and ride out. Just remember your trains are the 42S and 47S, and you will want to take 47S for speed or the 42S if you want to ride it through the urban villages south of town.

And yes, you are relatively conveniently located for going to Fallingwater.

One of the things you'll notice about Pittsburgh is that its a city that doesn't revolve around the American interstate system, for a city of 2.5 million it seems smaller because of the hills. You simply don't know what communities are at the hilltop when you're in the middle of wooded terrain at the bottom of a hill many times.

And for a city of 2.5 million it probably has the best selection of cultural attractions and urban amenities in the nation for this class of cities or smaller.
 

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Just ducky
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94 Posts
I really recommend going to "The Matress Factory" It's great museum featuring sometimes interactive art. It's on The North Side. Enjoy your trip!

Mattress Factory
500 Sampsonia Way
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

I just checked the address. The parking lot is actually one block north on Jacksonia St. And if you get a chance, check out the street view of Sampsonia Way on Google maps. Very interesting.
 

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I visited Falling Water recently. I used to live in a 20s reinforced concrete block, and the familiar musty smell hit me immediately. I'm not sure that preserving it is fair, because in design terms it was a folly that deserved to crash into the water sooner than later. I felt I was walking through animated, aquatinted 3-D drawings. It's a bit of a fake. A pretty experience, no doubt briefly a nice place to be for those who lived there and stayed there, but not a good building or one that helps the progress of architecture.
 
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