First settled in the late 1700s, West Deer was still largely agricultural in 1901 when construction started on the elegant 2 1/2-story Colonial at 268 Glasgow Road (MLS No. 896591).
What makes the century-old home remarkable today -- besides its charming period architecture and private location -- is the fact it still includes much of the original farmland.
Nestled on 26 rolling, wooded acres, the house is the quintessential gentleman's country estate -- no neighbors to spy in your windows, plenty of yard for kids and pets and an interior that's guaranteed to impress party guests. And for only the third time in more than 60 years, it's on the market, priced at $1.99 million by Tina Marie Cicero of Northwood Realty Service's North Hills office (www.northwood.com, 412-367-3200).
Local (but unconfirmed) legend holds the house once served as a home for unwed mothers. What's known for sure is that after being sold to a railroad company in the early 1930s, it went from a private home to corporate housing. Visiting executives overnighted there instead of staying in hotels and conducted business meetings and negotiations on site. The coal mining company that purchased the property in the late '30s continued that tradition of corporate housing for mine owners and dignitaries, said the current owner, who is downsizing.
It wasn't until 1950 that the house returned to being a private residence. Remodeled in the early 1980s, the home still includes many of its original architectural details. The 17- by 15-foot formal dining room, for instance -- wallpapered in a vibrant hunt print -- boasts oversized crown molding, a pair of built-in corner china closets and an original fireplace with a mirrored overmantel. There's another fireplace in the 15-by-15-foot living room, albeit a bit more modern, along with built-in bookcases, original oak flooring and white picture molding on the Wedgwood blue walls. (The current owner uses it as a piano room.) The ceilings are tall -- 14 feet on the first floor and 11 foot on the second -- and the paneled staircase, which still has its original newel post and rails smoothed by years of use, is extremely steep.
A paneled family room off the kitchen has a wood-burning stone fireplace and exposed wood beams on the ceiling. French doors open onto a three-season room with brick floors and views of a small interior garden and a grassy horse pasture.
There's more of a French feel in the updated kitchen, which features a cream-colored coffered ceiling and cabinetry, some with curtains on the inside, and red Mexican ceramic tile floors. A center island topped with Venetian Gold granite seats three. There is also a Jenn-Air cooktop in the adjoining breakfast room, which has a 12- by 6-foot pantry.
The upper levels holds five bedrooms, some with carpeting and others with original hardwood floors. The 19-by-15-foot master has a wood-burning fireplace and arched entry into a 14-by-13-foot dressing room; a private bath boasts a slipper soaking tub, walk-in steam shower, twin vanities and bidet. A bedroom on the top floor is nearly as large, measuring 20 by 12 feet, with three window seats. Perfect for a teenager or visiting in-laws, it also has a full bath and walk-in closet.
Much more intimate is a small but sunny reading nook on the second-floor landing, which overlooks the governor's drive in front of the house. Directly below, the foyer is filled with sunlight, thanks to a cut-glass transom above the paneled front door and a pair of sidelights.
Other amenities include a game/weight room in the loft area over the 58- by 40-foot attached garage (added in the early 2000s and equipped with a private entrance), a second-floor laundry and a television/playroom off the kitchen.
Perfect for equestrians and/or gentleman farmers, the estate offers a six-stall barn with a tack room and wash area, and several fenced-in pastures and riding trails at the rear of the property. There's enough room inside the garage for a dedicated hobby area or workshop.
And if you like the furnishings? Everything in the house is negotiable for sale, says Ms. Cicero, including all of the farm equipment.
"The house needs a family with lots of kids to enjoy it," she adds.
When the property last changed hands in 2001, it sold for $560,000. It has a 2012 full market value of $607,800 (www2.county.allegheny.pa.us.realestate). Since April 2012, just one residential property has sold on Glasgow Road, for $190,080 (www.realstats.net).
There will be an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12. For more images, visit www.northwood.com.
Gretchen McKay: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay. First Published July 21, 2012 4:00 AM