Sizzling Property: A revamped townhouse with historical past


Ron Meisberger’s trip to renovating his turn-of-the-century townhouse in the historic Allegheny West neighborhood on the north side of Pittsburgh is full of great stories – and some animals.

“When I first saw this house, there was a raccoon living there,” he says. “My brothers said they kept the raccoon and demolished the house.”

That was in 2003. Meisberger and his wife, being turned into a scene, lived at 1005 Galveston Ave for many years before renting it out. It’s now on the market for $ 325,000 (MLS # 1487867 Laura Palmer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate, 412 / 980-0812, It is agreed.


Meisberger says he bought the Cityscape Construction house after seeing an advertisement for it in a local newspaper.

“It was in really bad shape, but they had just started working on it,” he recalls.

At the time, the house was filled with horsehair plaster painted green and pink. The windows were boarded up and the back of the house collapsed. Meisberger first worked with Cityscape Construction to remodel the structure and then took it over from there.


The result of the completed renovation is an open space with two bedrooms, a bathroom, and exposed brick walls and rafters.

Although Cityscape rebuilt the back of the house according to Meisberger’s instructions, he made his contribution to heavy lifting.

“I scraped every inch of that brick with a soft brass-bristled grill brush that I bought at the dollar store,” he says.


The house, built in 1870, was once part of three terraced houses that were expanded to five. A central design element is the central staircase. It was built by Portersville iron maker Doug Burke and features iron stringers, oak steps, and rails. Cable wire holds everything together without affecting the front-to-back view.

The living room has a decorative fireplace and ¾ inch oak floors. Open beams and rafters play on the galvanized HVAC pipes above. Immediately behind it, the kitchen was designed and installed by Meisberger.


A corner cooking area plays with angles. Cast concrete countertops and a tiled floor grounded the space, which includes pendant lights and a commercial stainless steel work island. The whitewashed fireplace facade features a sleek mantle that was used for condiments and built-in shelves in the firebox.

A cantilever worktop was made from maple floor and attached with an industrial pipe. A bulkhead in mustard yellow color gives it a touch of flair. Meisberger says he studied home design books and was interested in concrete when it was a novel idea for kitchens.

“I made the shapes,” he says. “I had a foam insulation board for more than two years and made notes. I wanted to make sure I got the holes in the right places. ”

A door leads to a pantry. Just behind the newly remodeled space is a new dining area with more elegant design elements, including a remodeled fireplace wall with a clever backsplash.


The interior was also furnished with pieces from Ikea’s clearance room as a bar and media center. The wine glass holders were flea market finds. Industrial pendant lights and new laminate floors complete the look. A large window and glass door flank the wall and lead to a back yard with another interesting backstory.

“It was all grass back there. One day I dug and hit a brick, ”says Meisberger. “The terrace was under three inches of earth.”

He tore open the terrace, raised the height, and laid the bricks in a 90-degree herringbone pattern. Thanks to the owner of an adjacent property, there is space for plants and a neat privacy fence.


The original gnarled pine floors were reworked on the upper floor. Two bedrooms, a master bathroom and a laundry room fill the space. The master bedroom has a gray decorative mantelpiece and a built-in storage bed. A large library ladder gives access to a loft on the second floor with a roughly cut wooden floor.

“I left small gaps on purpose,” says Meisberger. “At night lights peek through and fill the room in such interesting ways.”

The second bedroom has a closet built on the same footprint as the fireplace in the dining room. Reused doors bring warmth to the room.


The master bathroom has a see-through block wall made of wavy glass, a slate tile shower and the recently added modern vanity made of cherry wood panels. There’s also a hand-carved burl maple bowl, which Meisberger says was carved by an artist who has pieces at the Smithsonian.

“I always wanted the sink in this bathroom,” he says.

The basement is clean and tidy with a sink, diamond plate floor, and a “Pittsburgh Potty”.

Photos of the house before construction are hung throughout the room. They offer a glimpse into the past and show the journey this 150 year old house took.

“I enjoyed this hotel so much,” says Meisberger. “Everyone who has ever gone in there has found something interesting in it. Allegheny West is such an enjoyable community and a great place to live. ”

With years of experience in the area’s real estate industry, Rosa Coluccis Hot Property offers a glimpse of unique and historic homes currently on the market. Every week, Hot Property goes behind the sales sign to tell the story of a special Pittsburgh home. And four times a year, Hot Property will feature in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME a detailed look at the area’s property market, tracking property prices and sales, and detailing where the Hot Properties are located. Rosa can be reached at

About: Allegheny West

population: 462

Airplanes, trains & automobiles: Only 25 minutes drive to the airport. Daily transport via the port authority. City cycle paths on the main traffic arteries. Parking on the street.

Schools: The city of Pittsburgh has an extensive magnet program, including the award-winning CAPA in the heart of downtown. ((

Neighborhoods The Allegheny West Historic is one of the most famous in the country. Mansions built by William Penn, Henry W. Oliver and others marked Ridge Avenue as “Millionaires Row”. Sights include the Calvary United Methodist Church on Beech Avenue with its original Tiffany windows and West Park with its strolling bridges and fountains. Several large Victorian buildings mark the campus of what is now Allegheny County’s Community College.

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