The building design received accolades in the architectural press, resulting in swarms of uninvited visitors trespassing on the property to glimpse this latest Mies building. But as a result of the accusations contained in Edith Farnsworth’s lawsuit, the house became a prop in the larger national social conflicts of the McCarthy era. The weekend house became a lightning rod for anti-modernist publications, exemplified in the April 1953 issue of House Beautiful, which attacked it as a communist inspired effort to supplant traditional American styles. Even Frank Lloyd Wright denounced the Bauhaus and International Style as un-American.
Large areas of glass wall, flat roofs, purging of ornament, and a perceived lack of traditional warmth and coziness were International Style features that were particular talking points of attack. Still, the Farnsworth House has continued to receive wide critical acclaim as a masterpiece of the modernist style, and Mies went on to receive the presidential Medal of Freedom for his contribution to American architecture and culture. Prominent architect and critic Philip Johnson was inspired by the design to build his own Glass House in 1947. In the 21st century, Pulitzer Prize winning architectural critics Paul Goldberger and Blair Kamin have both declared the house a masterpiece of modern architecture. Its timeless quality is reflected by the reverent fascination in the minimalist house shown by a new generation of design professionals and enthusiasts.
In September 2008, the house was flooded by rains from the remnants of Hurricane Ike. Water levels reached about 18 inches above the floor and the 5 foot stilts upon which the house rests. Much of the furniture was saved by elevating it above the flood waters. The house has been closed to the public for the since 2008 for repairs.