Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

This Old Pittsburgh House: The Boggs Legacy

The Boggs Mansion, now The Inn on the Mexican War Streets, is a testament to the legacy of an early Pittsburgh tycoon.




photo by baidi wang

 

Of the remaining traces that the North Side was once the stomping grounds of millionaires, the stone townhouse on North Avenue that once belonged to Russell H. Boggs is among the finest.

Built as the 19th Century came to a close, the house has outlived the department store established by Boggs and his partner, Henry Buhl, in Allegheny City in 1869. Boggs & Buhl was demolished in 1960 for Allegheny Center Mall, now Nova Place. The store served the “carriage trade” — the well-to-do of old Allegheny City — and appropriately, the proprietors saw to it that their delivery wagons were drawn by handsome steeds.

Boggs also basically created the North Hills. The electric trolley line he built, called the “Harmony Route,” stretched from Pittsburgh to his hometown of Evans City and onward to New Castle. When it began service in 1908, at each stop along the tracks — Ingomar, Wexford, Bradford Woods — Boggs’ North Pittsburgh Realty Co. offered suburban lots for sale.

Boggs’ daughter also preferred the countryside, especially the family’s summer home in Sewickley Heights. When her father died in 1922 from injuries suffered in a fall, she sold the North Side townhouse to a seminary next door.

Retired teachers Karl Kargle and Jeff Stasko, partners for 40 years now, at one time owned 18 properties in the Mexican War Streets. When they bought the Boggs place in 1998 for $100,000, it was in grave disrepair. Downspouts in the stone walls had silted up, and water leaks formed icicles on the central staircase. Termites had consumed much of the woodwork, and a finial on the roofline had crashed through the porch roof and lay at the door like a tombstone.

​Kargle and Stasko estimate they put close to a million dollars into restoration. In 2000, they opened The Inn on the Mexican War Streets. Preserved articles from Boggs & Buhl, such as a piano and an old wind-up Victrola, can be found throughout. A mantelpiece of rare blood marble dominates the main hall.

A Steelers room with memorabilia nods to the sports fans who are frequent clientele. Still stored in the basement, however, is a row of seats from Three Rivers Stadium. “Jeff won’t let me bring them up,” Kargle says. “They have chewing gum on ‘em.”

The owners live in an expansive carriage house in back. For a year, they ran an upscale restaurant there; Stasko is also a chef who taught culinary arts and hotel management. Now the kitchen is for private occasions only — such as Kargle’s birthday party a few months ago.

For $159 on a weeknight, guests can stay in the master bedroom and enjoy the same view over West Park that Boggs did a century ago. Or, if that has a lasting appeal, the owners say they’re always ready to consider an offer to buy the whole place.  
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

The Junior League of Pittsburgh's Show House is a 112-year-old mansion featuring 28 rooms decorated by a different local design professionals.

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Owner Jeff Lenchner says a Discount Tire store will open in place of the store’s current location along McKnight Road in Ross Township.

Is Gabby Barrett the Next Carrie Underwood?

The 18-year-old singer from Munhall wowed the “American Idol” judges once again.

17 Vintage Photos of the Steel City of Old

Take a trip back to a very different Pittsburgh.

These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

Find out why these couples ditched the traditional guestbook and instead chose a drum head, a giant wooden letter and a dictionary for their guests to sign.

PIT Turns to CMU to Make Airport Smartest in the World

The airport authority will use minds at CMU to discover ways to make it easier for passengers to get from the terminal’s parking lots to their seat on the plane.

Celebrate August Wilson's Birthday With a King and a Block Party

The ninth play in the 10-part Pittsburgh Cycle will open outside at the August Wilson House.

First Look: Soju in Garfield

Simon Chough’s Korean restaurant is six years in the making.

I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

Reviews of "I Feel Pretty" and "Super Troopers 2," plus a rundown of events at the Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival.

Get Your Clark Bars While You Can – They May Soon Be Gone

Production of Pittsburgh native candy bar may halt if the current producer cannot find a new buyer.

Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Notes on the busy new bar and restaurant near Grandview Avenue.

The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

It's back! From the dog mom to the working mom, we've got you covered with these locally made must-haves.

Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

James Harrison intimidated opposing players in a way not seen since the days of Jack Lambert and Mean Joe Greene.

Bruno Sammartino Dies; Wrestling's Longtime Champ Was 82

The Italian-born star died surrounded by family in his adopted home of Pittsburgh.

It’s Road Repaving Season in Pittsburgh. Is Your Street on the List?

The City of Pittsburgh has finalized its street paving plan for 2018. You’re one click away from finding out if your street or route to work is on the list.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Is Gabby Barrett the Next Carrie Underwood?

Is Gabby Barrett the Next Carrie Underwood?

The 18-year-old singer from Munhall wowed the “American Idol” judges once again.

Comments

17 Vintage Photos of the Steel City of Old

17 Vintage Photos of the Steel City of Old

Take a trip back to a very different Pittsburgh.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
First Look: Soju in Garfield

First Look: Soju in Garfield

Simon Chough’s Korean restaurant is six years in the making.

Comments

New Chefs Coming to Smallman Galley

New Chefs Coming to Smallman Galley

Smallman Galley will rotate its third class of chef/owners this June … but this time there’s a twist.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

The 2018 Return of the Burgh-y Mother's Day Gift Guide

It's back! From the dog mom to the working mom, we've got you covered with these locally made must-haves.

Comments

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

The 5 Best Places to People Watch in Pittsburgh

A coffee shop, an iconic landmark, an airport and beyond — these are the best places to practice the art of people watching.

Comments


Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Coughlin's Law Wants To Be Your Mount Washington Destination

Notes on the busy new bar and restaurant near Grandview Avenue.

Comments

Smallman Galley Goes 3D With Its New Cocktail Menu

Smallman Galley Goes 3D With Its New Cocktail Menu

The bar team at the Strip District restaurant incubator continues its flights of fancy with Flashback Flavors.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

Patriot Games Can’t Diminish Harrison’s Place in Steelers History

James Harrison intimidated opposing players in a way not seen since the days of Jack Lambert and Mean Joe Greene.

Comments

Penguins Seeking 3-Peat With The Swagger of a Champion

Penguins Seeking 3-Peat With The Swagger of a Champion

The power play, star power and goaltending are among the primary weapons the Penguins have at their disposal in their quest for another championship. But so, too, is an unshakable belief they can hoist Lord Stanley's Cup three times in a row.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

I Feel Pretty Isn't What You're Expecting (And That's Okay)

Reviews of "I Feel Pretty" and "Super Troopers 2," plus a rundown of events at the Pittsburgh Underground Film Festival.

Comments

Despite The Rock, Rampage Is a Wild Misfire

Despite The Rock, Rampage Is a Wild Misfire

A review of "Rampage," plus an update on the former Friends of the Hollywood Theater and other local movie news.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

These Creative Couples Transformed the Traditional Guestbook

Find out why these couples ditched the traditional guestbook and instead chose a drum head, a giant wooden letter and a dictionary for their guests to sign.

Comments

The Best Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Wedding Decor

The Best Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Wedding Decor

From new decor in the home to donations to charity, check out these ways to repurpose leftover wedding decor.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

Tour It: Historic Wilkinsburg Mansion Gets a Makeover

The Junior League of Pittsburgh's Show House is a 112-year-old mansion featuring 28 rooms decorated by a different local design professionals.

Comments

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Today’s Home Relocating North Hills Furniture Store

Owner Jeff Lenchner says a Discount Tire store will open in place of the store’s current location along McKnight Road in Ross Township.

Comments