Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Houses with History on Display Sites in Scottdale, Irwin, North Huntingdon and Greensburg

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Houses with History on Display Sites in Scottdale, Irwin, North Huntingdon and Greensburg

Article excerpt

Every few weeks, Kimberly Fox painstakingly dusts the nooks and crannies in the ornate banister of the staircase in the historic Loucks Homestead in Scottdale.

The detailed work sometimes drives her a little crazy, she said.

"You can tell that a man designed this. It's difficult to do. If a woman designed it, it would be a lot easier to dust," said Ms. Fox, treasurer of the Scottdale Historical Society, which owns and maintains the property.

Such daunting tasks are labors of love for people who, like Ms. Fox, are enamored by homes rich with history, character and architecture.

This weekend, such homes in Westmoreland County will be showcased during three holiday house tours, which serve as fundraisers for the host organizations.

Scottdale Historical Society

"Christmas House Tour"

2 to 6 p.m. Saturday

Self-guided; 5 homes and 1 church

Tickets: $15, two for $25

Details: 724-619-1874 or www.scottdalehistoricalsociety.com

The tour begins at the Loucks Homestead on North Chestnut Street, a Federal-style structure built in 1835 and remodeled in the 1880s in Victorian style. The home has maintained many of its original architectural and 1880s embellishments.

About half of the homestead's 22 rooms and the spring house will be open and decorated for the tour, said Tom Zwierzelewski, president of Scottdale Historical Society. Women's and children's clothing from 1890 to 1910 will be displayed.

Among original house features are Victorian slate mantels painted by artisans to resemble marble. Flagstone floors are still in parts of the home, and the back porch remains high enough from the driveway to allow ladies to step directly from a carriage to the house, he said.

Many of the 1880s renovations were done "with a Yankee thriftiness or ingenuity," he said. For example, some doors are from the 1830s, but their trim is from the 1880s.

The original staircase was replaced with one in the Eastlake style.

Also on the tour: two remodeled Victorian homes, an 1889 stick style and an 1895 Queen Anne; a 1903 Edwardian frame-style house with coffered beamed ceilings; a 1903 American Foursquare; and Scottdale First Baptist Church, built in Gothic Revival style in 1906.

Norwin Historical Society

"Homes for the Holiday Tour"

3 to 8 p.m. Saturday

Self-guided; 8 homes

Tickets: $18

Details: 412-759-9771 or www.norwinhistoricalsociety.org

The tour includes eight homes in Irwin and North Huntingdon plus a stop at Norwin Community Resource Center, which will offer a Festival of Trees.

Each year, the event draws more than 500 people, said Carl Huszar, president of the Norwin Historical Society.

To prepare for the popular tour, Lynette and Larry Moisey started decorating their home in October. The couple owns Larimer Mansion Bed & Breakfast in the Circleville section of North Huntingdon. …

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