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‘Fallingwater’ heir built this Garrison home in 1975; now for sale

Fallingwater, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in southwest Pennsylvania, is among the most iconic homes in the world.

It was built in 1939 for the Kaufmann family. Edgar Kaufmann jr. — yes, with a lower case “j” — inherited Fallingwater after his father’s death in 1955 and later donated it to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. In 1975, he and his life partner, the architect and designer Paul Mayén, built their own impressive home in the Hudson Valley.

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“Water Run” is a modernist home designed by and for Paul Mayen, architect and mid-century industrial designer who oversaw the building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Guest Pavilion, and his partner Edgar Kaufman jr., who inherited Fallingwater from his parents.

Known as “Water Run,” the oval-shaped 7,500-square-foot home is a modernist marvel, featuring symmetrical wings, circular glass walls and iconic pieces of built-in furniture and lighting fixtures designed by Mayén. Outdoors, the 15-acre property is laced with winding paths and pools, follies, grottos, waterfalls and even small pyramids.

Kaufmann jr. died in 1989; Mayén in 1999. 

Water Run is currently owned by artist and gallery owner Marylyn Dintenfass, who is selling it. The property is listed at $3,745,000 with Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Water Run,” is a modernist home designed by and for Paul Mayen, architect and mid-century industrial designer who oversaw the building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Guest Pavilion, and his partner Edgar Kaufmann jr., who inherited Fallingwater from his parents.

Dintenfass and her late husband, John Driscoll, learned about Water Run through a brochure that a savvy Putnam County real estate agent had circulated among gallery owners in New York city. Driscoll owned the Driscoll Babcock Galleries.

“At the time, we were looking for a place in the country so we went to see it and it was overwhelming,” says Dintenfass. “We actually went back to see it six or seven times. It was really the garden that John was enthralled with. I think he saw the house as representing this kind of aesthetic; a creative and historical modern house, but the garden gave a whole other plan for it; he was really inspired.”

Marylyn Dintenfass and Richard Ellis, of Ellis Sotheby's International Realty. Dintenfass, an artist, owns Water Run in Garrison, which is now on the market.

Dintenfass said as built, the home was not family friendly nor ideal for entertaining.

“It was created by a male without a family and his spouse was Edgar Kaufmann jr. They owned four homes so were spending differing amounts of time in them,” she explained.

“It was visually a beautiful house, but it wasn’t geared for comfort or for family or for entertaining, so we did a lot to add to the functionality and the comfort of the house and the ability to entertain family and friends.”

“Water Run,” is a modernist home designed by and for Paul Mayen, architect and mid-century industrial designer who oversaw the building of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater Guest Pavilion, and his partner Edgar Kaufmann jr., who inherited Fallingwater from his parents.

Dintenfass said it was an ideal place to display her work, which often features circular motifs. 

The design of Water Run features many circular elements, including an office with  curved window walls and half-circle, half-height book shelves, and an undulating corridor paved with bright red tile that connects the main house to a wing with an indoor pool.

There is lots of glass, stone, metal and reflective surfaces throughout.