Buying Here: Mt. Lebanon

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In 1931, Pittsburgh lawyer James Henderson Duff hired architect Thomas B. Garman, a recent Carnegie Institute of Technology graduate, to supervise a new development he was planning in the streetcar suburb of Mt. Lebanon.

Mr. Garman accepted the job and over the next 28 years would help create a unique and architecturally diverse neighborhood called Virginia Manor. Designing many of the homes himself, Mr. Garman had the final say on lot sizes, construction -- just about everything.

"People said you would see him, with a smoking pipe and tweed suit, leaning over a drawing," said Mrs. Jeane Kish, owner of 758 Valleyview Road (MLS No. 979387).

She and her husband, John, have put the five-bedroom, brick-and-stone house on the market for $875,000 through Simple Choice Realty. Information: 412-343-4455 or

Mrs. Kish calls their home "a signature English Cotswold cottage" with more than 3,500 square feet of living space. No wonder Mr. Kish discounts the term "cottage." Its lot is nearly a half-acre (0.42 acre) and includes woods.

"They started cutting lots at the top of the street. By the time they came to the end of the street, we got the best," Mrs. Kish said.

PG map: Mt. Lebanon
(Click image for larger version)

Like the centuries-old houses in England's picturesque Cotswolds region, this one has an asymmetrical facade and roofline and thick slate shingles. The tall house sits back far from the street amid lush landscaping, mature trees, a broad lawn and lots of English ivy. Stone frames leaded-glass window with diamond-shaped panes, some with stained glass.

"Our replacement value through our insurance carrier is more than $2 million," Mrs. Kish said.

The front door is "a good 3 or 4 inches thick" with leaded-glass panes and wooden pegs and leads to a 12-by- 7- foot entryway with a sweeping oak staircase.

A large wood-burning fireplace dominates the 15-by- 22-foot living room. The deep golden color of the aged oak mantel carries through to the crown molding, hardwood floors and doors.

Off the living room is what the Kishes call the Tuscany room. Once a porch, the 15- by-10-foot room features a vaulted ceiling and several large windows that offer an excellent view of the stone patio at the rear of the house. Like many of the other updates, this room keeps a traditional feel while providing modern comfort.

In 2005, the couple decided to update the kitchen and some of the three full bathrooms and two powder rooms. They also added a sauna and a new electrical panel.

The 26- by- 11-foot kitchen boasts a Viking stove and microwave combination, Bosch dishwasher, prep sink and Sub-Zero refrigerator. Originally two rooms, the space is now unified by cherry cabinetry with matching refrigerator doors. The breakfast area looks out to the back garden. The soft colors of the Jerusalem stone flooring and granite counter tops tie it all together.

The dining room (26 by 11 feet) holds one of many light fixtures the couple imported from Spain. A beautiful alabaster chandelier required a steel beam to support its weight. Done without harming the home's structure, the light makes a stunning impact.

In the lower level is a powder room, 30- by-16-foot laundry room and 22- by- 14-foot game room with wood paneling, wall-to-wall carpeting, several built-ins and a wood-burning fireplace.

The master suite measures 22 by 15 feet and the bath has soft gray Carrara glass tiles. The second floor has three other bedrooms measuring 15 by 12 feet, 15 by 10 feet and 13 by 12 feet. The third floor, originally the maid's quarters, has a fifth bedroom measuring 42 by 9 feet with neutral carpeting. All bedrooms have sloped ceilings reflecting the steep roofline, many gables and dormers.

Mrs. Kish pointed out a somewhat curious feature that one would not expect to find in a 1938 house full of vintage charm -- a wired-in home security system. There is an integral two-car garage accessed from the rear, central air conditioning and forced-air gas heating.

The property has a 2014 county assessed value of $581,400 (

Over the last three years, 11 houses have sold on Valleyview Road for prices ranging from $339,900 in August 2010 to $780,000 in July 2013 (

Lizabeth Gray:

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