homes

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 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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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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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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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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Lofty Aspirations

When you have access to just about everything in the world of style and interior design, falling in love can be difficult. The sheer volume of merchandise, coupled with the insatiable hunger for the newest trends that drives the home furnishings market, could easily overwhelm an ordinary person. But Stacy Weiss is hardly ordinary. As …

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City Chic

Like many diamonds, the house that sits discreetly back on one of the most beautiful streets in the city was in the rough when the owner first saw it. “I walked through the front door and immediately loved the home, but envisioned five or six changes I would make,” she recalls. Standing in the entrance …

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Beachy Keen

Waiting at the drawbridge for the fishing boats to pass, a bag of fresh crabs in the back seat and a lazy Gulf breeze ruffling the palms, it’s easy to see why a family from Pittsburgh would want to linger in Boca Grande. Located on tiny Gasparilla Island on the west coast of Florida, it …

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La Petite Maison

Unlike most of the homes designed by architect Brandon Smith, the stucco, brick and limestone residence in Squirrel Hill isn’t large or imposing. It was built in 1948 for a retired couple who were downsizing, but who wanted an elegant and formal town house. The result is something rare—a small home that boasts the structure …

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The Frank House: A Bauhaus Beauty

At a glance, the buff-colored residence nestled among the more traditional homes on Woodland Road seems an oddity, an almost institutional-looking structure resplendent in its obscurity. The mature trees that soften its façade testify to the fact that the home has stood on its spot for many years—70, to be exact—yet few have noticed. Until …

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Glorious Glendorn

The monogrammed silver vanity set sits, as it has for decades, on the dressing table in Miller’s Cabin. There aren’t many resorts that would leave such a family heirloom lying around, but then again, there aren’t many resorts like The Lodge at Glendorn. Nestled in the woods of northwestern Pennsylvania, the 1,280-acre retreat is just …

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A Comfortable Classic

This is my dream house” says the owner of a classic limestone mansion in Squirrel Hill. “I used to drive by with my agent and say that’s the house I want to buy.” But it wasn’t on the market, until one day the call came. “We’re listing it tomorrow, but if they want to come …

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Grand Spaces

From the outside, the Tudor home looks as if it’s always been comfortably nestled on the leafy street in Sewickley. That was important to architect Douglas Devlin, whose challenge was to fit a new residence into an established neighborhood without disturbing the aesthetic. “We weren’t technically in the historic district, but we were on the …

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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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The Business of Retirement Living

Five years ago, a senior citizen wanting to move into a stately retirement community would typically put his name on a list and wait, sometimes for a year or two. Today he would have little trouble finding an apartment in a community that boasts such amenities as indoor pools and spas, a golf simulator and …

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