Kentuck Knob Visitor Center
Few regions have one Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, let alone two. Fayette County, Pennsylvania has famed Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob. One of the finest examples of Wright’s Usonian homes, Kentuck Knob is nestled in woodlands dotted with significant sculptures added by its new owner. Penobscot Corporation opened Kentuck Knob to the public in 1996, and sought to ensure its preservation and sustainability by turning a greenhouse into a gift shop and café. They started with financing from a bank and a development organization, but realized they needed more funding – and more flexibility.
The Progress Fund stepped in with a $175,000 loan, and later refinanced another $175,000 in bank debt. The Progress Fund also provided marketing advice. The Visitors Center and Gift Shop opened in May 2003, helping to generate 700 more tours than the year before.
The Visitors Center and Gift Shop have provided the revenue needed to increase hours of operation, and to ensure the long-term preservation of Kentuck Knob. Thanks to Kentuck Knob, visitors coming to the area to see Fallingwater now have a great reason to stay longer, and spend more. Visitors “like what we have to offer in our gift shop,” says Executive Director Cathy Ciaccia. “And when they see our house, they come back.”View Story as PDF »