Hot Property: The Breathtaking View is a Surprise in Greenfield
The vista from the four-bedroom brick home’s back deck stretches from Oakland to the Point.
It’s kind of a joke that native Pittsburghers never leave, or always boomerang back home, but it’s actually true — just ask Gretchen Hamm.
A native East Ender who attended Allderdice High School, she left Pittsburgh after school for work on the West Coast. Family connections and a love for the area brought her back to the region, where she purchased a four-bedroom home on 331 Kaercher St. in Greenfield.
Among the home’s many selling points one in particular stood out — a spectacular view of the city.
“You can’t replace that view,” Hamm says. “You can see from Oakland all the way down to the Point.”.
The panoramic also includes several bridges, Downtown’s skyscrapers and Mount Washington’s Grandview Avenue properties.
The house isn’t too shabby either. Owned by the same family for more than 50 years, it underwent a brief rehab before Hamm bought it. She is now being called back to the West Coast by her employer, and the home is once again on the market.
Listed for $250,000 (MLS# 1518034, Ilona Tassone, Howard Hanna Real Estate, howardhanna.com, 412/448-6607), it is open by appointment.
Built in 1920, the house has many sought-after features, such as the original paneled staircase entryway as well as two original stained-glass windows.
“They were painted over a brown color; I didn’t even realize they were there,” Hamm recalls. “We took the paint off with great difficulty.”
The entry hallway has two curved walls and luxury vinyl plank flooring. The kitchen and carpeted living and dining areas were opened up to each other, filling the rooms with lots of light.
Hamm and her family painted the interior of the house a neutral gray paint paired with bright white trim. It was a smart choice; When you walk into the living space, the walls fade away, letting the city views from the back deck shine.
Also drawing attention is a large fireplace in the living room. The remodeled kitchen is functional and efficient with espresso-hued cabinets, a gray backsplash and a glass-front pantry. The original back staircase allows for easy secondary access to the home’s upper levels.
Serviced by a full bathroom are four bedrooms spaced out over the two upper levels, plus a laundry room.
Between the pandemic and remote work, Hamm says one project stayed on her home improvement wish list before she decided to put the house up for sale.
“I would have loved to finish out the basement because it would be a great art studio,” she says. “There is an antique sink down there.” The basement also houses a second full bathroom with a tub.
Sitting on a corner, the all-brick house has a curved walkway leading to the front door and a large porch that’s perfect for relaxing with friends.
In the rear, a parking pad can fit two small cars. A large deck is joined by a small porch that leads to the basement level. Mechanically, the 1,800-square-foot home has natural gas heat and no central air. Water and sewer are public.
“I loved the community life here and the proximity to Schenley Park and Frick Park,” says Hamm, who adds she may move back to the area one day.
Drawing on her years of experience covering the region’s real estate industry, Rosa Colucci offers Hot Property, 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 email@example.com.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Highly walkable, with bike lanes, public transportation via Port Authority and ride share. Travel to Pittsburgh International Airport by car is a 30-minute commute and is also available through connecting bus routes.
Schools: City of Pittsburgh, featuring extensive magnet programming. (pghschools.org)
Neighborhood: Nestled between Squirrel Hill, Hazelwood and Homestead, Greenfield has two small business districts. Sloping hills, one-way streets and 26 distinct flights of City Steps provide panoramic views of the city. The housing stock is affordable, lively and interesting.