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Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa

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1960; 1987 Chateau LaFayette, Rothschild Architects and DRS/Hundley Kling Gmitter; 2003–2004 Falling Rock Hotel, David R. Merritt. 1001 LaFayette Dr., north of U.S. 40, 1.4 miles southeast of Farmington

The nineteenth-century inns along the National Road were joined by the twentieth-century Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa when it opened in 1997. What began as Willard Rockwell's 1,759-acre hunting lodge, wildlife preserve, and 26-room corporate getaway of 1960 was transformed in 1987 by Joseph A. Hardy Sr., owner of 84 Lumber, into a 2,800-acre, four-star resort dominated by the 124-room extravaganza Chateau LaFayette, which was inspired by the Ritz Hotel in Paris. Visible over the treetops from the National Road, the five-story mansard-roofed building is one of the largest projects ever sheathed in glass-fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC), tinted to mimic limestone. Architectural details of the GFRC were poured into molds to achieve the decorative effect of carved stone. The product is said to age like stone, but drip edges were added to protect the material from water runoff. Falling Rock, a forty-two-room boutique hotel on the eighteenth green of the Pete Dye–designed golf course Mystic Rock, was designed by architect David Merritt of Maine as an homage to Frank Lloyd Wright. The stone and stucco hotel has carving and details reminiscent of Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob, including cherry wood and triangular window projections. Golf, spa and equestrian facilities, and skiing keep a year-round clientele busy. An airstrip on the grounds allows visitors to avoid the ninety-minute drive from Greensburg or Pittsburgh.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Nemacolin Woodlands Resort and Spa", [, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 257-257.

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