Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Elizabeth Township

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Elizabeth Township

Article excerpt

Vicci and John Kosko are on the hunt for very special buyers of their farmstead at 201 Round Hill Road in Elizabeth Township.

Known as the Hutchinson Farm, the 51-acre property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987 because it's "one of three most intact 19th-century farms in Allegheny County," according to the nomination form. The other two are its neighbor, the Van Kirk Farm, and the Gilfillan Farm in Upper St. Clair.

After a complete restoration, the entire farm including the 1865 farmhouse, three outbuildings and some of the antique furnishings is priced at $695,000 and viewable at https:// ourfarmatroundhill.shutterfly.com. The Koskos (412-384-0600 or koskoassociates@yahoo.com) said they would also consider offers around $495,00 for the buildings and 1.5 acres, but they would prefer to keep the farm intact.

Mrs. Kosko grew up in DuBois and never imagined living on a farm until she saw this one.

"We were looking north -- John's parents lived in White Oak. We went by the farm on the way home and saw it was for sale," she recalled.

They purchased it from descendants of the Hutchinson family, who settled the land in 1822. Stone markers indicate where they first built a two-room house and that they built the current house in 1865. The original home was razed in 1980.

The Koskos got married on Dec. 10, 1983, and moved in five days later. He is an architect who specializes in historic restoration and she an avid preservationist who worked for Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, which announced the farm was for sale in its January newsletter. The Koskos nominated the property for the National Register.

"I have spent 27 years working on the house. It has been a wonderful way of life for us," Mrs. Kosko said.

The property has an assessed value of $138,000 (www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Default.aspx). The farmhouse has elements of Italianate and Greek Revival styles. The front features a quaint porch and balcony with keyhole-style balusters. It was rebuilt in the early 1980s "by a local carpenter in his 70s, a poet with wood who copied the original," wrote Donald Miller in a 1985 Post-Gazette article.

The main house has 3,620 square feet of living space on two floors. Additionally, there's 1,470 square feet in the basement and 1,470 square feet in the attic and a four-car garage. (A second detached garage is also on the property.)

Two of the four bedrooms on the second floor are currently being used as a library and dressing room. There are full baths on the first and second floors.

Other buildings include a springhouse that provides water to the main house through a pump, a smokehouse and a 40-by-70-foot dairy barn with a new $40,000 roof.

Although Mrs. Kosko had never done any home restoration, she was ready for the challenge. …

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