“Live Worship Shop” House Tour 2017

The 3rd annual “Live Worship Shop” House Tour took place on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Featured Tour News and Video:

Homes on the 2017 Tour:

255 Brighton Rd.

Theresa Gallick purchased this iconic home in 2000. Architecturally, it is a quintessential Craftsman (Arts and Crafts). The lines of this house and the materials that were used (stone, stucco, and wood shingles) give it a rustic, natural appearance.

The home was built circa 1913 by Walter Straw, a prominent Bellevue builder. Walter was quoted as saying, “I used the finest materials and the most advanced building techniques to build this house.” The house is poured concrete (first floor walls are almost 12 inches thick). The concrete is roughed up to look like stucco on the 1st floor. The leaded glass in the front door is not original. The original glass was a piece of thick, beveled clear glass. Theresa wanted light coming from the front door, but wanted privacy. She has saved the original glass in case a future owner wants to re-install it.

The left side of the entry room, with bookshelves and built in benches, is known as an Inglenook. Note the green ceramic hearth. A fireplace used to be in the middle of this space. There are two hidden cabinets behind false

panels in this area. We won’t say where.

The huge fireplace in the living room is a duplicate of one that appears at Stickley Farms in Parsippany, NJ. The green tile on the fireplace may have been manufactured by Grueby, and the brass trim on the edges of the fireplace along with the iron scrollwork supporting the mantel are original.

The dining room features a cove ceiling and built in cabinetry, with leaded glass that echoes the diamond pattern seen in the exterior windows. The built-ins still have their dolphin topped brass keys.

The current owner removed a wall separating the kitchen and butler’s pantry to create a vintage kitchen featuring original pine floors and open shelves.

The top hallway is spacious and has four generous bedrooms, the main bath, and the attic access radiating from it. The third floor finished attic, originally used as servant quarters, has a wide staircase leading to it, and is currently used as kids’ hangout room.

The finished basement boasts built in furniture by Craig Marcus, and the downstairs guest room houses original Stickley pieces from the 1920s.

Theresa did extensive plantings and hardscapes to create a bucolic outside space. The garage in back of the property was built in 2002, but designed to respect the look of the house.

100 Watkins Ave.

Chris and Kathy Driscoll’s 6,000 square-foot, 16-room Colonial Revival home has aspects of Richardsonian Romanesque style but was designed by architect Marius Rousseau (1868-1958) and built in 1903-06. The interior features woodwork made from quarter-sawn oak, cherry, and hickory.

The massive Colonial Revival style home incorporates aspects of various architectural styles and exhibits unique features such as poured concrete construction and a central ventilation and light portal. Extensive original woodwork, marble, terrazzo, hardwood floors and stained glass can be found throughout the first two of five floors. The house has 8-10 bedrooms and encompasses 5,788 square feet, but the interior living space totals over 9,100 square feet when including the unheated sunrooms and heated basement.

The kitchen features an unusual original glass tile ceiling as well as the original built-in refrigerator. The floor plan remains unaltered from the original design and over 65 original doors and doorknobs have survived, along with a number of original lighting fixtures and 9 fireplaces. Additionally, many other details are original including crystal doorknobs, brass window locks and hinges, and push-button light switches. Two sinks and a six-burner, professional-grade stove fit nicely in the 18- by- 12-foot kitchen. It has furniture-style oak cabinetry, a small butler’s pantry and a third clean-up sink. Ceramic tile decorates the entryway to the formal dining room.

The stately enclosed porch sits behind a dozen columns. Below the second floor roof line, panels of terrazzo tile and stained-glass transoms shine in the sun and create colorful patterns on the terrazzo floor. Large oak doors lead to a small entry with a fleur-de-lis tile pattern and a second set of doors to the formal entry room. The room is breathtaking, with more terrazzo floors, a carved cherry staircase, plaster crown molding and faux marble columns.

The large dining room easily accommodates a table that seats 10. The lavish space features floor-to-ceiling wood paneling, cabinetry and a coffered wainscot. Any free wall space is covered in small mosaic tile that look like wallpaper from across the room. Small light fixtures are placed strategically on intersecting beams and walls, casting a warm glow.

The adjacent living room is home to a square grand piano which Chris is learning to play. The cast-plaster ceiling has wood trim and picture rails. One wall has a bank of accordion windows that opens to the porch.

Upstairs is as luxurious as the first floor. An upstairs bathroom has a domed, stained glass ceiling. A skylight above it illuminates subway tiles and an intricate terrazzo tile floor. A nearby bedroom has built in pew-like seating. French doors open to a small sitting balcony. Another bedroom leads to a second-floor solarium with a bank of seven triple-pane, stained-glass windows.

On the third floor are two more bedrooms and a large playroom. Another large room that had an old kitchen may have been for servants. A staircase leads to attic storage.

The basement has 13-foot ceilings and almost 2-foot thick walls. The fallout shelter has now been converted to an in-home theater. A two-car tandem garage leads to a governor’s driveway on the side of the home.

The back yard, shielded by a row of tall trees, also boasts a large, multilevel deck with carved spindles and gentle turns.

Rousseau designed the home for himself and his family. It is situated on four lots in the “Bellevue Park Plan” laid out bythe Allegheny Real Estate Improvement Companyinthe 1890s. Rousseau designed numerous churches, banks, hotels, social clubs and other buildings in Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania, and later Cleveland, Ohio. His wife had lived on Bayne Avenue and they were married in the Church of the Assumption. Rousseau relocated to Cleveland after losing the home to foreclosure in 1909.

Although Marius Rousseau was not a wealthy man, the craftsmanship and detail throughout the house is equivalent to that of contemporary Pittsburgh mansions and estate homes such as the Henry Frick Mansion. Rousseau, with the opportunity of designing his personal dream home, probably called on many of the skilled craftsmen he worked with on other commissioned projects.

Following the 1909 foreclosure, the house was acquired by Margaret J. McKallip. In later years she rented the house to tenants, including the family of Thomas E. Wilson. It was the childhood home of Charles Wilson, CEO of General Motors and U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The house had only two owners for 90 years after Rousseau, and they left it essentially unchanged except for the removal of a solarium. Beginning in 1996 the property underwent an extensive restoration. The current owners, Chris and Kathy Driscoll, are committed to responsible stewardship of their landmark home and intend to seek a preservation easement to protect it in perpetuity.

The Marius Rousseau House was recognized as an historic landmark by Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation in July 2016 and its listing in the National Register of Historic Places is expected to occur in February 2018.

80 Grant Ave.

More than 30 years older than the rest of the houses on the tour, Ian and Amy Conaway’s home, built about 1870 during Bellevue’s first building boom, is a good example of the Italianate style. This important architectural style is well-represented in Bellevue and the North Boroughs.

The features of this home contrast sharply with those of early 20th century houses. In particular the woodwork, fireplaces, and the inlaid wood floors all reflect important stylistic differences between houses of the post-Civil War period and those built at the turn of the century.

A major renovation of the house by former owners took place in 2001 when it was converted into a duplex. Ian and Amy Conaway have continued working on the house, most recently rehabilitating the front porch.

The beautiful leaded entry welcomes you to the home. Notice that each room’s floor has a distinctive inlay pattern. Twelve inch baseboards complete the stunning statement.

Four fireplaces helped to heat the residence in its early years, with the dining room fireplace featuring a spectacular Rookwood tile pastoral scene. Another highlight of the dining room is a beautifully paneled oak-carved nook. One of the home’s most outstanding features is the intact period kitchen which retains much of its historic character. Take a peek at the cozy, screened- in, back porch with bamboo ceiling.

The second floor landing features an original skylight which allows light into the center of the home. The vintage bathroom has classic subway tile and beveled mirrors on every wall creating a fascinating sense of infinity. Head to the third floor to see the playful kid space ready for young imaginations.

80 B Grant Ave.

Meghan Steinmetz and Wills Butler movedfrom Shadyside to Bellevue to save hours on their weekly commute and maintain a better work life balance. This smaller apartment boasts the same majestic floors and classic Victorian marble fireplace of its sister side. The high ceilings are a complement to the horizontal wainscoating found in the dining room. The simple kitchen is capped by a glorious embossed tin ceiling.

The star of this apartment is Ness the tenants’ pet rat. Come on in and say hello!

70 South Harrison Ave.

Urban farmers Christie and David Biber welcome you to their home. Wild flowers and fruit trees frame the entrance to this classic brick asymmetrical Foursquare. The house was built between 1897 and 1906, and the Bibers made it home in 2001.

The Biber house possesses the same distinguishing characteristics of the Foursquare form as the other Foursquare houses on the 2017 tour, including two-story height with four fairly equal-sized rooms on each floor, a square shape, pyramidal roof, hipped dormers, side window bay, and full-width front porch.

Once inside, the oak staircase, original leaded glass windows, and the four fireplaces, all with their original mantles, remind visitors of a bygone era when hosts and guests had time to visit and chat.

Christie, a prolific artist, knew the third floor would serve as an ideal creative center for painting and printmaking. David is also in the arts and is an avid biker.

The previous owners painstakingly stripped and restored the oak staircase and fireplace in the first-floor hall. The Bibers completely rehabilitated the old kitchen to create Christie’s new “dream kitchen.”

When you enter the backyard, you will be delighted to see the chicken coop, home to five clucking hens. Somewhere during your tour be sure to introduce yourself to their Australian Shepherd and the personable parrot. The Biber family have certainly made this urban farm “home.”

101 Lincoln Ave.

The 1928 Tudor Revival home of Val and Molly Pennington is eclectic and charming. Come on in and see this welcoming home at the entrance to Bellevue!

The original owners of the home enjoyed some wealth, and the home was state of the art for the period. The current owners have added their distinctive touches throughout the house with updates that honor the past and collections that create an interesting and embracing home for their family.

You’ll enter into the foyer which is the hub of the home and is affectionately referred to as “the rotunda”. The curved staircase includes a quaint niche to hold precious mementos and has the perfect natural wood bench tucked into its arc.

Set your eyes on the original beamed ceiling, elegant fireplace, and built-in cabinetry as you enter the spacious living room. Access to the remainder of the first floor can be found through arched French doors.

The delightful kitchen features original tile, with cabinetry and a cozy breakfast nook that were updated in the 1960s. It all feels incredibly modern given their vintage. Stroll outside and enjoy the secluded backyard with its stone patio and rock garden terrace spanning the length of the home. An in-ground water feature offers an oasis of tranquility.

The second floor landing leads to three more of the five bedrooms and a getaway in-home spa designed and built by Molly and Val. The onyx tile and rustic wood vanity create an elegant but earthy retreat.

The third floor leads to more charm — a bedroom, office space, and every crafter’s delight — a room dedicated to creating!

Before you leave, visit the lower level 1950s entertainment space with its curved banquette and vintage southwestern mural, complete with cactus and riders on horseback.

65 North Fremont Ave.

Kim and Paul Hassell were drawn to Bellevue’s friendly and walkable neighborhood and are excited to call it home. Built circa 1899, their Colonial Revival Style home is a fine example of one of the early 20th century’s most popular residential building forms, the American Foursquare.

The use of Colonial Revival ornamentation—a style that put great value on symmetry and proportion–strongly accentuates the balance and symmetry of the basic Foursquare form. The faÇade of the house is rigidly symmetrical, with a central entrance flanked by a pair of large cottage windows on the first floor, a pair of triple bay windows on the second floor, and a pair of massive brick chimneys at the roofline.

The foyer welcomes visitors with a grand staircase and spectacularly detailed bas relief plaster ceilings. Each of the seven fireplaces in the home is distinctive in its detailing and design.

Pay special attention to the classic reeded urn on the newel post and the carved face on the mantle in the library. The stairway’s two-story stained glass is separated by the landing.

The front porch features double columns with Ionic capitals and reproduction trellises. All these examples of exceptional early 20th century craftsmanship make this house the grand dame of the street.

Paul and Kimberly Hassell note that they, like many Bellevue residents, had long admired this landmark house, so when it unexpectedly came on the market in 2016, they jumped at the chance to own it.

93 North Fremont Ave.

Paul and Shari McGill will once again welcome Live Worship Shop Tour visitors to their 14-room house—a home that has been in the McGill family for more than 60 years. First on the tour in 2015, the McGills wanted to have their beautiful home featured again to help commemorate Bellevue’s 150th anniversary.

The brick Foursquare home was part of the Bellevue Land Company’s “Sunnyside Plan of Lots,” laid out about 1892. Prominent builder Benjamin Avery Groah, who also built the Jackson and Grant Elementary Schools in Bellevue, built this home in 1904 for his own residence. Benjamin Groah also built three adjacent houses on North Fremont Avenue, including this one, each progressively smaller and less ornate than the last. This lovely house became home to the McGill family in 1948.

Current owners, Paul and Shari are the son and daughter- in-law of the McGills. They purchased the home in 1993 and have painstakingly renovated the home and added

updates without losing the charm of the home. Now empty nesters, the McGills have converted one of the many bedrooms to a TV room and renovated a downstairs bath to luxurious spa status.

The floors and much of the woodwork, including mantels and a staircase, are solid oak. Stained glass windows and transoms throughout the home create sparkle and elegance. In touring the house, note the eclectic artwork. Much of it was created by Shari’s father, and each piece has found a special place in the home.

The home exhibits a simple Foursquare form with many fine ornamental details and beautiful period furnishings Among its outstanding features are the two side bays, exquisite leaded glass windows, a bracketed cornice, and gabled dormers with decorative pilasters and shingled walls. The paint scheme perfectly complements and highlights the house’s architectural details.

The McGills believe that there must have been a fire in the 1920s, resulting in the removal of walls and replacement of ceilings. The fireplace in the living room is different from others in the house, possibly another result of the fire. They converted the former kitchen into a breakfast room and added a new kitchen at the back of the house in 1970, replacing an older breakfast room and porch. Their renovations are lovingly done without compromising the home’s original historic details.

436 Forest Ave.

Her “inner sanctum.” That’s what homeowner Mimi Rawlings calls her 1904 Victorian. The expansive front porch, with its wicker seating and beautiful detail make it a great place for friends to gather.

The home exhibits the same basic Foursquare form as the houses at 65 North Fremont and 93 North Fremont, including the square shape, pyramidal roof, hipped dormers, and front and side window bays. However, it is executed in wood rather than brick, and is more modest in its ornamentation, befitting a house that was a rental property for most of its existence. A 1908 newspaper advertisement offered “a Bellevue residence, 8 rooms, reception hall, china closet, bath, furnace, laundry; up-to- date.”

A major renovation in 1996 by the previous owners garnered Operation Image’s Award for Restoration Design Excellence in 1998 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 31, 1998).

When Mimi decided to buy in her hometown, she was impressed with this recently renovated home and its Victorian details. The oak, scrolled staircase and open foyer lead the visitor to the classic black and white kitchen which opens to a private back patio and yard. When the opportunity arose in 2002 to buy the home, Mimi jumped at the chance.

The homeowner’s eclectic style pairs the dining room art glass window with a Murano Glass chandelier accented with MacKenzie Childs whimsy. Mimi’s creative touch extends upstairs to her dressing room – a masterpiece of organization and classic feminine style.










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