Hot Property: A Small Town Home in Oakmont That’s Big on Charm
Recently renovated, the 141-year-old home is close to Oakmont's shops and eateries.
Some homes are just built right, with a footprint and room sizes that make sense.
Christine Donahue’s place at 622 Fourth Street in Oakmont is a great example. The 2,182 square feet of space in the classic Victorian interior was a nice fit for her family. Through the years, it needed very few changes.
Located just an easy jaunt from Oakmont’s shops and eateries, the 141-year-old home, built in 1880, also is listed as one of Oakmont’s Circa historic houses — and it still contains many original details.
“I moved in at the end of 2007,” Donahue says. “It used to be white and we painted the outside.”
The new color palette is classic colonial blue enhanced with dark-hued shutters. Surrounded by mature trees and a simple sidewalk and driveway, the clean lines make it easy on the eyes.
Other renovations include a new kitchen and small addition. After 15 years of living there, Donahue’s kids are almost out of school, and the family is moving on. The home is listed for $399,900 (MLS #1524705, Lori Hummel, Howard Hanna Real Estate, howardhanna.com, 412/287-1739). It is open by appointment.
Inside, the charming entry is filled with character, thanks to leaded sidelights and a transom, a cove detailed staircase and colorful stained-glass windows. Original pocket doors open to the living room, where a cozy fireplace, original half-window shutters and crown moulding make this 15-by-14 square-foot space seem even larger.
Stepping into the 15-by-12 square-foot dining room, you are greeted with a bow window, built-in china cabinet, fireplace and a surprise — a second set of steps that take you upstairs.
“I love the fact that it has two staircases,” Donahue says. “You can close off one part of the house and use the back. The pocket doors add to that as well.”
The dining room’s walls also were opened up to the newly renovated kitchen.
“The structure did not allow us to change the kitchen, but we were able to put in an island,” Donahue says. “It expanded the openness of the house and allowed for extra seating in addition to the dining room table.”
The kitchen’s new cabinets, appliances, backsplash and lighting are complemented by quartz countertops. A stunning stainless steel apron-front sink adds a touch of pizzazz, while open Edison bulb lighting illuminates the space. The smartly done makeover added usable real estate to both rooms.
Outside, an intimate covered porch gives an extension of the seasons. Surrounded by a waist-high picket fence, the gently sloped backyard also was put to good use by Donahue’s kids.
“We put a zipline and a tree swing out there. It goes from the top of the yard to the house” she says.
The first floor has a full bathroom. There’s also the aforementioned back staircase, which leads to a bonus room installed over the garage.
“We were using it as a game room for the kids,” Donahue says.
Outfitted with an oversized bean bag chair and a red mini-refrigerator, the cool hangout space features a dormer ceiling and carpeting. On the second floor are three bedrooms and a full bathroom.
The 15-by-13 square-foot primary bedroom has hardwood floors and half-window shutters. The two other bedrooms measure 16-by-12 square feet and 8-by-7 square feet, respectively. All three bedrooms have ample closets and lots of natural light. The home also has forced air, public water and sewage and a one-car garage with additional driveway parking.
Donahue says she particularly loves the home’s location across the street from St. Irenaeus Catholic Church and around the corner from popular restaurants such as What’s Cookin’ at Casey’s and The Pub at 333. The area’s weekly flea markets, seasonal farmer markets and easy access to schools also make it an all-around winner for convenience.
Hot Property is an inside look into unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh-area home. And four times a year, Hot Property gives an in-depth look at the region’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking housing prices and sales and detailing where the hot properties can be found. Rosa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About: Oakmont (oakmontborough.com)
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 40-minute commute to the Pittsburgh International Airport. Street parking, public transportation and sidewalks.
Schools: Riverview School District (rsd.k12.pa.us)
Neighborhood: Known for old houses and old charm, Oakmont is nestled along the Allegheny River and home to the world-renowned Oakmont Country Club. A handsome and vibrant business district runs along both sides of Allegheny River Boulevard and Allegheny Avenue and features loads of restaurants, bespoke retail shops and more. Oakmont Bakery provides dazzling treats, while the renovated Oaks Theater features live entertainment. Many residents enjoy an evening stroll along the sidewalks and walking paths.