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Homes

A Colorful Life

The Shadyside home interior designer Colleen Simonds created for her family seems to radiate with vibrancy and joy. A riot of color, light, pattern and design envelops the residence, which was formerly a traditional, 1911 Colonial. At once youthful and sophisticated, the home is unabashedly personal. “It’s kind of a family joke. When we bought …

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Welcome to Cherry Hill

In 1935, financier Jerome Hill and his second wife, Adelaide, commissioned famed architect Benno Janssen to design a home for them in Sewickley Heights. They named it Cherry Hill, perhaps a play on their name, and probably built it as a second home to escape from the smoky city. Sewickley historians classify the house as …

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Family First

Drive up into the heights above Edgeworth and the topography creates all sorts of geographic nooks and crannies. This house sits on the crest of a hill, with sweeping views both directly below and far into the distance. A vintage 1950s mansion, as they were called back then and meant to be, it boasts classic …

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California Dreaming

Back when his parents built the Fox Chapel home he now owns, it was called modern. And modern it was in 1955, when architects Derek Martin and Grant Curry designed the sprawling, boxy residence. “My parents were devotees of Frank Lloyd Wright. They loved his style and wanted to do something different. At the time …

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Howard Hanna: Buy and sell with confidence.

Sewickley Idyll

In a neighborhood known for its quiet streets, this one is especially peaceful, just a few leafy blocks of lovely homes with landscaped lawns and mature trees. That it’s just minutes from Sewickley’s village center was one reason the owners chose to live there. They had originally moved to a gracious old home in Sewickley …

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A Pittsburgh Treasure

At 90, Francis Nowalk has a sparkle that rivals the magnificent crystal chandeliers hanging over his head in room after room. And that’s just downstairs. Upstairs in his Bloomfield showroom are the “bigger” things, including a Sicilian donkey cart. “I don’t know why I have that,” he says with a shrug. One suspects there are …

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A Period Piece

Perched on a hill in Oakland is a classic 1920s apartment building with spectacular views and a roster of illustrious residents. Many of them have undertaken renovations to bring their co-ops into this century, and the results are as varied as the inhabitants. But one particular resident split the difference by hundreds of years—she updated …

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Green Acres

We used to have 20 chickens. Now we have two!” laments the lady of the house, citing coyotes and foxes as the culprits. “We did have two mini attack donkeys that were supposed to keep the predators away from the chickens, and they did a good job. But when they were out to pasture the …

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Some Enchanted Cottage

Tucked into a hidden corner of Squirrel Hill is a house that looks as if Cary Grant should step out of the front door, the star of a romantic comedy set in the Cotswolds. It oozes charm from every leaded window, and every window box. Built in 1925, it has a come hither look that …

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Modern Family

A traditional English Tudor in Mt. Lebanon may not seem to be the perfect choice for a young family with progressive taste. The classic bones and signature Tudor elements, such as the use of wrought iron and stone, might have deterred less courageous buyers. But the 1931 residence had many of the qualities the couple …

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A Foundation for the Future

The Benter Foundation has increasingly made a mark in Pittsburgh since it was founded 11 years ago by philanthropist Bill Benter. Dedicated to supporting “the leaders, organizations and ideas that help communities and individuals thrive,” the foundation’s primary focus has been local, with an emphasis on the arts and education. Benter’s approach is hands-on. He …

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On a Sophisticated Note

When Jim Spencer decided to move the headquarters of his renewable energy business from New York to his native Pittsburgh, finding the right house became a priority. His partner, attorney Michael Lin, remained in Manhattan so their daughter could finish school there. On weekends the couple commuted between the Duquesne Club, where Spencer was staying, …

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Verdant Views

Make a left and then another and a pristine gravel drive leads to a scene of sheer bucolic bliss. Wrapped around the courtyard is a 1920s home thought to have been designed by Brandon Smith. Though his name is not on the original plans, it is in the architect’s style, examples of which abound in …

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Home & Gardens

There’s a hand-drawn map of old Fox Chapel that shows the original estates, scattered here and there on the great pieces of property they once commanded. Many of the homes were weekend or country places the wealthy used as a respite from smoggy Pittsburgh; with better transportation they became primary residences and were built as …

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The New Apartment Dweller

East Liberty-Shadyside is the epicenter of Pittsburgh’s new apartment wave, featuring both Bakery Living and the three-building Mosites Co. complex known as Eastside Bond. Together, these developments, only a stone’s throw apart, have introduced more than 700 rental units over the past few years. One of the attractions of the neighborhood is its proximity to …

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Real Estate Tug of War

The holiday revelers, about 150 strong, gathered at East End Brewing Company to enjoy a different sort of Christmas celebration, neither family gathering nor office party. Rather, this soiree was hosted by Walnut Capital for the tenants of its trendy Bakery Living apartment complex at Bakery Square in Shadyside. To underscore how responsive it is …

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Flipped Out

Our adventure began with a two-sentence conversation with Eric as we watched our new favorite HGTV show, “Flip or Flop.” The show stars Tarek and Christina El Moussa—a young, attractive (and a bit annoying) married couple who buy property, flip it, and sell it, usually making an outrageous profit. Eric: “We could do that.” Me: …

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Desert Bloom

The definition of oasis is simple: a fertile spot in the desert where water can be found. That applies to any number of gated golf communities that surround Palm Springs, California. But The Reserve in Indian Wells is different. Instead of fighting nature by pumping water onto artificially green lawns, it embraces the desert soil. …

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A Collector’s Eye

Tradition winds through the leafy streets of Sewickley like a summer breeze, ruffling the flags on stately old homes and the flowers that adorn each perfect lawn. In a neighborhood filled with beautiful houses, the 1950s French-inspired stucco stands out, as it did when Anne and David Genter bought it 10 years ago. “This had …

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A Classic Redefined

It’s difficult enough for many couples to agree on a new home, but the challenges were even greater for Stephen and Helen Hanna Casey. He’s an award-winning architect and she’s the president and CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, the fourth largest real estate company in the U.S. “Steve knows architecture and design, and …

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An Art Full House

“We’re art addicts so we’re always buying stuff, ” says the owner of a wood-clad modern home in Fox Chapel, laughing. She and her husband are just back from a major art fair and the question, as usual, is where to put the new piece. From the outside, no one would suspect that the discreet …

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Global Glamour

It took Phileas Fogg 80 days to go around the world in Jules Verne’s classic novel. It took closer to three years for a Shadyside couple to complete their residence, a mélange of influences from their international lives and travels. The result is a journey of a different sort; a home that reflects both their …

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