Marylynn Uricchio is the former film critic and SEEN/society editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She now writes fiction in addition to articles about architecture and design.

An Urban Farmhouse

Like many couples, the owners of this Shadyside residence decided to sell the sprawling home they had lived in since 1972 when their children were grown and gone. That was 20 years ago. “We were early with the downsizing,” the wife says with a laugh. But they retained an acre of prime property next to …

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Little Flower Blossoms

Little Flower stands with stately elegance where it has always stood, on a small bluff overlooking Woodland Road in Shadyside. Built in 1910 by Daniel Clemson, a steel executive who lived at Highmont on the corner of Fifth and Shady, it was a gift for his son, Ralph. With nine bedrooms and a large carriage …

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Big Time

If you are not yet awoke, Pittsburgh native Jen Spyra is on your side. Her jaw-dropping debut of 14 short stories runs the gamut from totally un-PC to downright offensive, but with such imagination and dark, disturbing humor that it’s kind of refreshing. Remember when it was okay to laugh at ourselves, to acknowledge that …

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Pusadee’s Garden of Delights

Pusadee’s Garden closed even before the virus shuttered restaurants across the globe, and like a butterfly leaving its cocoon, it has emerged from hibernation with a resplendent new look. It took close to four years for the transformation, but the popular Lawrenceville Thai restaurant that once boasted a pretty garden and a small indoor space …

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Light as Air

Leanne Ford is working from home these days, just like everyone else. But home for Ford means Pittsburgh, as in the entire city and its environs. The interior designer and star of HGTV’s “Restored by the Fords” is positioning her new season, “Home Again with the Fords,” as part of a national trend. People across …

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Eleven Mile Farm

“To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose, under heaven.” So says the book of Ecclesiastes, pirated by Pete Seeger for a song recorded by the Byrds. Those words come to mind when visiting Eleven Mile Farm, an old sheep farm in Indiana Township that has found new life with new …

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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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Pretty in Peat

The Machrie Hotel sits on grass-covered peat fields, a low-slung array of modern buildings that sprawl across the landscape like an apparition. Just completed last year, the newest addition to the Campbell Gray luxury hotel chain is on the Isle of Islay, home to some of the best scotches in the world. But Islay is …

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Skibo Castle: Andrew Carnegie’s Extraordinary Estate

Turning into the long drive that leads to Skibo Castle, one can imagine what it was like for Andrew Carnegie to arrive at his Scottish home back in 1899.That was the year he purchased the estate, hoping his young daughter Margaret would grow to love his homeland. In this, the 100th anniversary of his death, …

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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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