LIFESTYLE

A Touch of Tuscany

The house sits majestically on the crest of a hill, with sweeping vistas of other hills and the wooded valleys that connect them. There is little evidence of civilization even beyond the 33-​acre site, which makes the home seem private and remote.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Country Sampler

Soaring gas prices might have you reconsidering autumn travel, but much of it can be duplicated within an hour’s drive of Pittsburgh. If you are yearning for New England’s fall colors, Lancaster’s Amish countryside, a vineyard’s fall glory or a small town’s welcome, try a visit to Smicksburg, in northern…

Ranch Redux

“I was desperate,” explains interior designer Jeffrey Graciano as he stands, looking anything but, in his Louis Vuitton loafers, gray slacks and crisp, white shirt. The Churchill native was recalling how he ended up buying a nondescript, 1960s faux-​colonial ranch on a cul-​de-​sac in Fox Chapel.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Off the wall

Passing the little yellow Romanesque church next to Rt. 28 outside Pittsburgh, most drivers don’t give it a thought. Perched on a hill overlooking the highway, St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale is not grand — its pews seat 350 worshippers — but inside is one of the region’s…

A River Runs By It

This is the story of a thoroughly modern dilemma that was solved by a building erected in 1901 along the banks of the Allegheny River. More than a full century later, the Armstrong Cork Factory in the Strip District is bustling with life and assorted pursuits of happiness.

Jewel in the Crown

A casual inventory of the materials Philip Elias used for the interior of his 1920 home sounds like an exhibit in the hall of minerals. Semi-​precious stones including tiger’s eye, lapis, charoite and sodalite mingle with Paridisio, Empress Green and Rojo marble as accents amid pale squares of Portugese limestone.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Take five

A recent Gallup poll revealed that up to 44 percent of us are frequently stressed, and 55 percent of us feel we do not have enough time to do the things we want. That’s 130 million anxious people, give or take a few basket cases. A little over an hour…

Into the Woods

One of the many paths through Frick Park wanders past the house, which sits on the crest of a hill overlooking acres of woodland. Each time he passed it, the current owner would tell his wife that if it ever came on the market, he would buy it.

Updating a Brandon Smith

Following in the footsteps of Brandon Smith would be a daunting task for most architects. He left his imprint throughout the region, designing in his lifetime (18891962) many Western Pennsylvania landmarks.

A Cottage Charmer

The before pictures of the house in Fox Chapel would send a chill through the heart of even the most accomplished renovator. An 1870s cottage married to a 1950s ranch created a charmless union, to say the least.

A Country Idyll

Rough-​hewn stone, wood and copper are traditional materials for a country house, though the only thing country about the residence designed by Roger Ferri some 20 years ago is its location.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Home is where the hearth is

The walk was maybe a half-​mile switchback up the side of a mountain in semi-​freezing drizzle, past a slate-​colored pond, through a covered bridge, beyond a clearing with a few austere frame buildings, and up and up.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Troubled times for R.S.V.P.

Many years ago, when Sam Menefee was a student at Oxford, he would arrange to meet a friend for dinner by leaving a handwritten note in the pigeonhole, or mailbox, of his friend. The friend would respond by leaving a note in Sam’s pigeonhole.

Lofty Ideas

Their Shadyside home was one of the city’s finest, sequestered at the end of a leafy cul-​de-​sac. The grounds included a stone courtyard, large pool and formal rose garden that Tim and Audrey Hillman Fisher often used for the many benefits and parties they hosted.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

The society page

“What rage for fame attends both great and small. Better be damned than mentioned not at all!” So noted John Wolcott in the mid 1800s, and not much has changed since.
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