Westinghouse Air Brake Company created more than just jobs in Wilmerding; it also created much of the community, building large detached homes directly across from the factory along Airbrake Avenue for its management. Up the hill from the managers' homes, the company built smaller row houses for the employees.
James and Carol Bonner moved into one of the managers' houses on Airbrake Avenue when Mr. Bonner, a 70-year resident of Wilmerding, became involved in politics.
The ward he was running for necessitated the move, and for 30 years, four children and nine grandchildren, they enjoyed their three-story red brick house.
"Jim's dad worked at air brake and so did I ... it was handy, we just walked [across the street] to work" said homeowner Carol Bonner.
"The house is just too big for us now, all the kids grown ... just want to downsize," she added, saying she and her husband are looking to take it easy.
That put 682 Airbrake Ave. on the market for $68,900 (MLS: 924255) through Robert A. Fabrizi of Howard Hanna Realty (412-856-8800).
"Pristine, immaculate," are the words Mr. Fabrizi uses to describe the five-bedroom home built in 1897.
The 15-by-15-foot master and two bedrooms (13-by-12-foot and 15-by-13-foot) are on the second floor with the smaller two bedrooms (12-by-11-foot and 11-by-14-foot) on the third floor. All the bedrooms feature wall-to-wall carpeting, and there is newer Pergo hardwood flooring in the hallways.
Both the second-floor three piece bathroom (8-by-7-foot) and the first-floor powder room (6-by-3-foot) were recently updated.
The Bonners re-skimmed the interior, giving both the walls and ceiling a new coat. Mr. Fabrizi, who had worked as a drywaller/plasterer at one time, called the technique skip troweling: creating a stipple texture on the ceiling with a softer texture on the walls. Redoing the walls improved not only the appearance of the rooms but also helped to seal the house, making it more efficient to heat.
The new Pergo flooring, countertops and backsplash in the 12-by-11-foot kitchen give the room a warm feeling.
The kitchen appliances -- a General Electric stove, newer French door refrigerator and built-in microwave -- are included along with the Whirlpool washer and dryer in the basement.
You get plenty of sunlight and a good view through the large picture window in the living room (14-by-12-foot) and built-in cabinets provide for plenty of storage.
"Love this house, it has all the old charm with the arched doorways and built-ins," said Mrs. Bonner. "We have the original banisters, lots of originals, but there's been updates, too. Really a nice house for over a hundred years old."
Going through one of the arched doorways to the dining room you will find two more built-in china cabinets and two tall windows.
A bonus on the first floor is the 12-by-9-foot sunroom. Great during hot summer days, the room can be used for extra storage in the winter.
A 6-year-old gas furnace supplies the central heating, and the gas hot water tank is 2 years old. There is a security system with video cameras
Located on a bus line, it is a short car ride to Wilmerding's town center, with its small shops and restaurants. It is a seven-minute commute to Monroeville Mall and 20 minutes to Downtown Pittsburgh off peak.
There will be an open house 1-4 p.m. next Sunday, or you can schedule an appointment by calling Mr. Fabrizi at 724-994-8878.
Lizabeth Gray: email@example.com or 412-263-1978. First Published December 29, 2012 5:00 AM