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Homes

Minimalist Majesty

“We’ve actually had guests who couldn’t find the front door,” laughs the owner of this magnificent residence hidden on seven secluded acres in Fox Chapel. Indeed, the curved walls that soar from 18 to 28 feet in height present a series of undulating planes that gently disguise the entrance. The effect is one of total …

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Art & Aluminum

I want to make a comfortable environment, not change the way people live,” architect Edward Grenzbach told John Loring when he was interviewed for a 1977 article in Architectural Digest on the house he had just designed for Alfred Hunt. “I’m an environmentalist, not a psychiatrist. I put giraffes among tall trees and polar bears …

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Heights of Glamour

Dean Martin slept here. OK, not really, but he was very much the inspiration for the approach interior designer Neill Stouffer took with a historic Sewickley Heights residence. Formerly two carriage houses joined by a nine-car garage, the home has a charming English country exterior. A classic cobblestone courtyard, rolling hills, and white buck fencing …

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An Artful Existence

A life well traveled, well collected, well lived. The evidence fills the spectacular city residence of a prominent couple who recently moved into an historic building. Their apartment occupies most of an upper floor, with views on three sides that provide a breathtaking panorama. That is, of course, if one can look away from the …

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Howard Hanna: Buy and sell with confidence.

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. That it’s on the outskirts of Pittsburgh and not in the Tuscan countryside …

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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. “I had been looking for a house for three …

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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. The massive structure designed by Frederick John …

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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. Such visual imagination comes naturally …

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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. In fact, it was on the market …

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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 (1889-1962) many Western Pennsylvania landmarks. While best known for institutions such as the Edgeworth Club, Fox Chapel Golf Club and Shady Side Academy, Smith was the architect of choice …

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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. “I walked in, saw the living room and said, ‘We’ll take it,’” Betsy Deiseroth recalls with a …

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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. It sits by a stream tucked away from interruption in a quiet part of Western Pennsylvania, and little about it has changed since the …

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For sale

For almost everyone, buying or selling a house is a vital personal and financial transaction. Yet most people do not recognize that planning and implementing the right strategy can change the outcome by thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. For buyers, the right strategy can make the difference in getting the house that …

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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. So invariably, the first question they are asked is how …

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Modern English

From the outside, the stone and shingle cottage could easily be perched along a bucolic lane in the Cotswolds instead of a quiet road in Fox Chapel. That’s what makes the inside all the more remarkable. Eschewing the more traditional approach suggested by such architecture, designer Kathleen Clements devised a sophisticated interior that purifies modern …

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Secretary’s Treasure

When Paul O’Neill was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in 2001, he planned to secure a pied-á-terre in Washington, retain his main residence in Pittsburgh and, with his wife, Nancy, vacation at their Maryland beach house. But finding an acceptable home in the capital proved to be somewhat difficult. A quick trip to the famed …

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