Island Gem

With its lush greenery, privacy and view of the water, Washington's Landing is resort-like living at its best.



Photos by Becky Thurner Braddock

With its lush greenery, privacy and view of the water, Washington’s Landing is resort-like living at its best.

There is a balcony off the third-floor bedroom suite of this chic townhouse at Washington’s Landing, but it couldn’t be more private. Fully covered by a gently sloping roof, it has walls on three sides, leaving just one side open to the elements. The view is dominated by the Allegheny River, which seems close enough to touch.

Two stories below, a sprawling wooden deck almost begs for a party. Just beyond the deck, a walking path along the river’s edge is lined by lush greenery. On a spring afternoon, the chirping of birds fills the air. You could easily believe, if you sat on that upstairs balcony with your morning coffee or on that downstairs deck with a pre-dinner glass of wine, that you were nestled in a sleepy boating town on the New England coast.

But step toward the railing and glance along the Allegheny River to your right. The gleaming office towers of downtown seem a stone’s throw away, a stunning contrast to the otherwise laid-back vibe. Look to your left, and the 31st Street Bridge arches over the water, a steel-and-concrete reminder that this is the City of Bridges.

Welcome to Washington’s Landing, a multi-use development that combines traditional architecture and a vacation vibe with a central city location.

Of course, this bit of land wasn’t always so scenic. Throughout the 1800s, back when it was known as Herr’s Island, it was home to stockyards, rendering plants and factories. When those businesses eventually left, a brownfield site remained—too tainted to be habitable. Throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, plans for reclaiming the island were repeatedly formed and then abandoned. Eventually the project came together, and the island was reborn. It’s a modern success story with a nod to history—in 1987, the island was renamed Washington’s Landing because George Washington is believed to have slept there in 1753 after his raft capsized in the river. Nearly 250 years later in the 1990s, Montgomery & Rust began building the townhouse community.

The area now includes things Gen. Washington wouldn’t have imagined: not just homes and office space, but tennis courts, a full-service marina, Redfin Blues restaurant and Three Rivers Rowing, which rents boats and kayaks for a lazy afternoon—or a serious workout—on the river.

Pittsburgh is a study in contrasts, which might explain why visitors are so often surprised by it. In many other American cities, residents must choose either the convenience of an urban environment or the peace of a lush, green one. In Pittsburgh, you can have speedy access to both if your location is as strategic as this.

When you enter the Washington’s Landing complex, it feels as though you’re off the beaten path. And yet it’s almost literally on busy Route 28, close to the vibrant energy of the Strip District and Lawrenceville, and just a short drive to the mellow horse farms of the North Hills. 

Of course, this sweet location isn’t inexpensive. Condo townhomes here are selling in the half-million-dollar range, especially if the owners have invested in upgrades like granite countertops and stained-glass windows.

In addition to the killer view and über-private third-floor balcony, this particular three-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath unit has sleek cherrywood floors, a gas fireplace, a custom steam shower and a jet-spray tub. A custom-made billiards table in the downstairs game room completes the picture. For those keeping score, maintenance fees for this condo unit are $240 per month, and taxes are just more than $7,000 annually.

The owner, a native Pittsburgher, splits his time between here and California. Because his career increasingly keeps him on the West Coast, he decided to put the home up for sale. But he’s been savoring afternoons overlooking the Allegheny, enjoying the sunshine and city views. Saying goodbye to this home—and its to-die-for location—will no doubt be bittersweet.

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Restaurants 2016

Best Restaurants 2016

Which 33 Pittsburgh-area establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

In addition to awarding Best Restaurant honors this year, our Independent Restaurant Review Panel also voted to recognize six chefs for their contributions to Pittsburgh’s culinary community in 2015.
Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

German blends a collage of community activism and soul-searching artistry.
PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

It only takes one person, one jagoff, one childish, attention-seeking, discourteous jerk to send a woo through PNC Park.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

5 Reasons PyroFest Will Light Up Your Memorial Day Weekend

5 Reasons PyroFest Will Light Up Your Memorial Day Weekend

PyroFest will also include live music, food, a Kids Zone and more.
8 Things You Might Not Know About Kennywood’s Jack Rabbit

8 Things You Might Not Know About Kennywood’s Jack Rabbit

When you compare what it cost to build the coaster in 1920 to what it would cost today, it's obvious Kennywood's owners got their money's worth.
Second New Restaurant Moving into Union Trust Building

Second New Restaurant Moving into Union Trust Building

The upscale seafood eatery is expected to open in late 2016 or early 2017.
Local Filmmaker Celebrates Pittsburgh Food

Local Filmmaker Celebrates Pittsburgh Food

Artist David Bernabo creates a series of films that track various aspects of Pittsburgh's food culture.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best Restaurants 2016

Best Restaurants 2016

Which 33 Pittsburgh-area establishments did our independent Restaurant Review Panel include among its top picks this year? Find them here.
Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

Six Pittsburgh Chefs Who Are Outstanding in Their Field

In addition to awarding Best Restaurant honors this year, our Independent Restaurant Review Panel also voted to recognize six chefs for their contributions to Pittsburgh’s culinary community in 2015.
Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

Citizen Artist: Vanessa German

German blends a collage of community activism and soul-searching artistry.
PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

PittGirl to Wooers: ‘Not Today Satan, Not Today’

It only takes one person, one jagoff, one childish, attention-seeking, discourteous jerk to send a woo through PNC Park.
Daytripping: Canonsburg is a City of Antiques

Daytripping: Canonsburg is a City of Antiques

Nearby Canonsburg is a rare find for antiques collectors.
U.S. Open at Oakmont: Will The Town Finally Be a Player?

U.S. Open at Oakmont: Will The Town Finally Be a Player?

The U.S. Open is returning to Oakmont — and unlike previous tournaments, this one could make the community a vital part of the action.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


5 Reasons PyroFest Will Light Up Your Memorial Day Weekend

5 Reasons PyroFest Will Light Up Your Memorial Day Weekend

PyroFest will also include live music, food, a Kids Zone and more.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Richard DeShantz Plans Two New Restaurants at Salt of the Earth Building

Richard DeShantz Plans Two New Restaurants at Salt of the Earth Building

DeShantz owns three other Pittsburgh restaurants and is about to open a fourth.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


Highmark Stadium Pub Wants Your Attention

Highmark Stadium Pub Wants Your Attention

The in-house tavern at the Riverhounds' home stadium is now welcoming guests during weekdays. But is it worth a dedicated stop?

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Resurrected Penguins Writing Their Story Their Way

Resurrected Penguins Writing Their Story Their Way

These Penguins have been downright unrecognizable, individually and collectively, on the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Flip the Switch: Industrial-Style Lighting Made in Pittsburgh

Flip the Switch: Industrial-Style Lighting Made in Pittsburgh

An electrician by trade, designer Thomas Verscharen creates custom lighting out of repurposed pieces.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The X-Men Would've Done Better in Wonderland

The X-Men Would've Done Better in Wonderland

Reviews of "X-Men: Apocalypse," "Alice Through the Looking Glass," "A Bigger Splash" and "Love and Friendship."

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Get with the (Wedding) Program

Get with the (Wedding) Program

Have you ever considered making programs for your wedding guests? If not, think again and get creative.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
A Tiny House that's Big on Energy Savings

A Tiny House that's Big on Energy Savings

Spread out across the city for these upcoming events, including a “Tiny House” exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center displayed by the FIY Network.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Duquesne University to Host Small Business Networking Event

Duquesne University to Host Small Business Networking Event

The event will connect hundreds of small business managers and owners and provide useful information to help them take their enterprises to the next level.

Comments