Sunday, September 8, 2013

and now for something completely different

More schoolhouse. More windows. Blah . . .
Wouldn't you prefer some pretty pictures instead?

This house is Baywood, the Alexander King estate in Pittsburgh. What is our relation to such a grand house you ask (at which I must take offence, as our house was once as grand, although a tad smaller)? John Gracey Kelly, the original owner of our home and founder of Braddock National Bank, sold our house to move into Baywood when his daughter Mildred married the King heir, Robert King.

Mildred and Robert, I am beyond in love with this photo
The Pittsburgh Press Jun 25, 1911

The Pittsburgh Press Nov 11 1911

I suppose that's a good reason to move, but wouldn't he be horrified to see what the chain of owners who followed him inflicted upon his beautiful home. When he sold the house he also divided and sold off the additional lots that comprised the estate, resulting in a row of smaller foursquares being built down the hill we once presided over.

it's funny that the maid's rooms didn't count . . .

Baywood fell into disrepair much like our own home. Following Robert's death in the 50's (and after a failed attempt to raze it via eminent domain) it was left to the city for use as a facility for nonprofits, and after years of hard use was bought and restored, in what must have been a parade of the best of the best craftsmen in the region. Aiding the restoration were 28 glass slides and stereoscope images of the interior at the turn of the century, a find which (for me) is the stuff dreams are made of (I tried and failed to find photos of the slides). We've attempted to contact the current owners in the hopes that they have uncovered additional photos or information relating to Mr. Kelly, but alas, have never heard back. But, if you happen to have 2 million burning a hole in your pocket, Baywood can be yours (just please invite me over for tea, I promise to wash the grime off my hands before petting the woodwork and wallpaper)!

If you're interested in the listing or reading more about the history and restoration check out:


  1. Replies
    1. Now if only I could figure out how to get from here to there with my own house!

  2. 2 million? Really? That's all??? That seems like not nearly enough for a house that magnificent! Except for the really big move across the country, I'd be terribly tempted. Don't tell the spouse though - he'd kill me if he thought I was going to change my mind about finally moving to the country. ;o)

    1. I know how you feel, if I wouldn't feel guilty about leaving Sparrowhaunt and the schoolhouse behind I'd be writing the check right now... But can you imagine the boredom of living in a place that needed nothing?

    2. Yes, I can. And that's why we're selling! I need a new project!! LOL

  3. This couple did an INCREDIBLE job.

    The bathrooms, in particular, astound me! I really love the one with the inset marble slabs in the wood floor. Wonderful period detail!


    1. It really is spectacular, I wish I could have managed to see it in person. Isn't it amazing what money can buy?


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