ABOVE: Here I am in 1972, standing in the entry courtyard at our Pittsburgh home. There was a fireplace in my bedroom and French doors that opened to a wrought-iron Juliet balcony. I loved everything about this classic house–even the bats in the third-story attic.
After my father’s corporation transferred him to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in August 1970, we lived first in a hotel and then in a rental home until my parents could find a house they wanted. Growing frustrated with what she was being shown, my mother resorted to putting my father’s business cards in the mailboxes of houses she liked the look of. On the back of each card was a hand-scribbled note from my mother, enquiring whether the owner wished to sell.
One of those cards caught the attention of Milton Hume, the gentleman who owned this 1928 tudor home, designed by Brandon Smith. In his time, Smith had been a renowned architect both in Pittsburgh and in Moskoka, Ontario, Canada, where he designed cottages and boathouses for Pittsburgh families who summered there.
Our family lived here from 1971 until 1976, at which time we moved into a new house down the hill from this one, which my parents had built.
Even now I am awed by this house and its understated elegance–and remember it so vividly. I am blessed to have been able to experience it, some 40 years ago. ~Janis Lyn Johnson
(The below photographs were all taken in the early to mid-1970s.)
ABOVE: The detached, three-story garage had a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment above it, which included a living room, dining area, and full-size kitchen. BELOW: Entrance to the cobblestone courtyard (the garage, not shown, is to the right).
ABOVE: The three-car garage and stairs leading to its second-floor apartment.
ABOVE: My father’s corvette in front of our house. BELOW: My father, with his prized car. It must have been Christmastime when these photographs were taken (note the red bow on the stone urn and the red lantern with bow in the bottom left corner of the photograph).
ABOVE AND BELOW: The front garden in spring/summer. My bedroom had the French doors and Juliet balcony seen here on the second floor.
ABOVE: One of the side gardens and the wrought-iron sun porch that my mother enclosed with glass so it could be used year-round.
ABOVE: The dining room table, 12 chairs, brass fire screen, and painting are still in our family today, some 43-plus years later.
ABOVE AND BELOW: The living room. Note the gorgeous, detailed wood molding.
ABOVE: The living room, which opened out to the sun porch overlooking a side garden. Below: The formal staircase, as seen from the living room (the home had three staircases leading to the second floor).
BELOW: The wood-paneled library, which my father used as his office. (I love the leaded-glass windows.)