When Stuart and Velma Hirsch built their Fox Chapel home in 1976, they worked closely with Pittsburgh architect Tasso Katselas on the design down to the smallest detail, including the two-story ficus that anchors a garden of atrium under arched skylights.
Now in their eighties, the Hirsches are ready to downsize and have put their beloved home at 1092 Fox Chapel Road on the market for $1.7 million.
Built on 3.3 wooded acres at the end of a private road, this spectacular home features massive windows that bring the outdoors in.
It was so unique when built that the November 1979 issue of Architectural Record noted: “suburban, expansive, open to views in all directions…a fine statement of design principles explored with intelligence and sympathy for materials “.
“They have created such a masterpiece together and the natural setting is really beautiful. It’s a beautiful combination of air and space, and you also get a feeling of texture,” says Julie Rost, real estate agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices “This one will take that special someone. It’s for someone who really wants to not just live there, but be part of the home.”
With 4,890 square feet of multi-level living space, the home features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two powder rooms, a living room with one of two fireplaces, and an open kitchen with a dining area and dining areas. personal work places. There’s also a library/den and an “intimate dining room,” Rost says, as well as a game room and mudroom at the entrance to a two-car garage.
Curved brick walls add interest to the dining room and master suite. Two of the other bedrooms share a Jack-and-Jill bath. Windows, atrium, terraces and patios all connect the interior to the exterior, where a tennis/sports court is part of the property.
Five other houses are along the road, but the Hirsch property is the only one not visible from the street.
“It’s really integrated,” says Rost, who doesn’t think anyone in the market for such a home will think twice about the asking price. “Prices have gone up more and more, so $2 million is kind of the new $1 million, I guess,” she jokes, but adds, “The number of transactions for homes over $1 million [in the Pittsburgh area] is much more than before.
An outdoor deck leads to the central atrium, then a catwalk brings you from the front door to the living room. From various vantage points inside, you can see into different spaces, which makes it “feel very open,” says Rost, although “there is a nice separation of space when you have it. need”.
“I think they were pretty ahead of their time to create that open kitchen feeling – it opens up to the family room and the breakfast room, and when they moved in there in 1976, no one else wouldn’t have had that,” she said.
Even the garage has a special detail: when driving down the driveway there are two bays you can park in, but on the opposite side a third bay provides storage space for a lawnmower.
“It could be for someone who isn’t necessarily looking for a house but is open to a new experience,” she says.
Katselas, an award-winning architect, has designed not only homes, but also schools, apartments, commercial buildings and multi-million dollar developments.
Four other Katselas homes in Pittsburgh have recently come on the market.
When the Hirsch house and his were featured in Architectural Record, Katselas told the writer that he credited not only the builder, but also Mrs. Hirsch, who “read the specifications carefully and took an active interest in every detail of the construction”.
Over the decades, the trees surrounding the house have grown, enhancing its placement in a natural setting.
“It’s an experience – a fabulous experience,” says Rost. “It would be an absolute joy to receive, but also very easy to exist. They raised their family there, loved receiving their children’s friends. So it’s not like it’s a museum just to be observed – it’s absolutely something to enjoy, experience and use.
For more Pittsburgh real estate, read Your Move: What $300,000 Will Buy You in Pittsburgh (If You Act Quickly).