Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Buying Here: Verona

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Buying Here: Verona

Article excerpt

In the early 1990s, Barry Caprino wasn't having much luck finding riverfront property to build his dream home. He even tried knocking on people's doors but the answer was always "No."

Then one afternoon he stopped at the riverfront park in Verona. Sitting on a park bench, he noticed a rusted old sign in the overgrown shrubs next to the park. After calling the barely legible phone number, he finally got the answer he was looking for.

The result was the brick and stucco contemporary at 147 Grant St. (MLS No. 968855), which is now for sale for $440,000 through Realtor Bill Craig of RE/MAX 3000 (412-427-2479). Although its lot is only 0.17 of an acre, it has 66 feet of Allegheny River views.

"Worked with a friend that was an architect from CMU and told him I wanted to see the river from every room," said Mr. Caprino.

Architect Sean Cosgrove gave him those views and more, creating a multi-level house with three bedrooms, two baths and a long wall of glass running the length of the river side. Every room comes with a view except the bathrooms.

The main-level deck, which also runs the length of the house, leads to the private dock where Mr. Caprino moors his Baha cruiser boat.

"It took the best part of a year to build the house," he said. "I'm a stickler on things matching, details. ... That's why it took so long."

Rather than use a solid railing that would block views from the deck, Mr. Caprino and his architect demanded thin but extremely strong aircraft cable. Solid doors posed a similar problem, so the 33- by 14-foot great room has a wall of French doors that open onto the deck. The three large windows on top guarantee that there will be nothing but glass between occupants and the view of life as it floats by on the river.

Even the upper rooms on the other sides of the home open onto the great room. The cascading effect adds to the drama of the vaulted ceiling with skylights, and the brass balustrades give a nautical feel to the home, like you're standing on the deck of a ship.

At one end of the great room is a large fireplace with a dark brick surround. At the other end is a set of stairs leading down to the entryway and another set that leads up to the next level, which contains the 12- by 15-foot kitchen, 15- by 15-foot dining room and a full bathroom.

That bathroom "almost looks like a vault when you walk in," thanks to its expanse of black diamond granite, another detail Mr. Caprino insisted upon.

A Juliet balcony off the living room offers a grand view of the different levels of the house, the great room and, of course, the river.

The custom-made kitchen has sleek cream-colored cabinets and granite counter tops. A Sub-Zero refrigerator is neatly concealed behind cream-colored panels while the Kenmore gas cooktop, built-in oven, dishwasher and microwave are a contrasting black. The granite tops on the breakfast counter match the granite in the entryway. …

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