Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Buying Here: Mt. Lebanon

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Buying Here: Mt. Lebanon

Article excerpt

Hidden in the basement of the house at 751 Lebanon Ave., Mt. Lebanon, is a small room with a large hole in its center. It's an indoor swimming pool, but in the 78 years it has been there, it's hardly ever been used as one.

"It's like a giant bathtub," said owner Jim Riley. "The woman who used to own the house said when they were kids they would sometimes fill it up and jump around, then drain it."

The 23-by-9-foot pool room was just one of the luxury items a builder named Gallagher put in this house in the 1930s in hopes of winning a contest. Alas, he lost out to a very similar-looking house on nearby Valleyview Road. This four-bedroom, three-bath house (MLS No. 888731) is now on the market for $296,000 through Realtor Anita Riley of Keller Williams Realty (412-818-3199 or

Mr. Riley, the agent's brother-in-law, lived next door for eight years and was urged by the former owner to buy it. Co-owner of a painting company, he was even hired to paint the brick exterior, which has always been white with green shutters, according to the rules of the contest.

Finally in 2005, he bought the house for $195,700 with his then- fiancee, Cheryl, now his wife. She actually moved in before he closed the sale on his old house.

"I'm looking out my kitchen window into the kitchen window next door and waving at my girlfriend. It was weird," he said.

Things got even weirder when they invited both their families to his annual Fourth of July party at the new house. When the guests showed up, they discovered champagne on ice, wedding food and a judge ready to do the honors. The couple were married that day on the splendid columned side porch.

"No one had any idea," recalled Mrs. Riley, his sister-in-law. "We saw the champagne and said 'What's going on?' That was pretty cool."

She said Mr. Riley has strived to restore the house to its 1934 glory. He had cabinets made to match those in the original kitchen and replaced the floor and counter tops. He repaired the roof and replaced the furnace, air conditioning system and water heater.

The entire downstairs features its original extra-wide crown molding and parquet floors. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.