Hot Property: How to find “Narnia” in Dormont


The classic victorian to 3225 Gaylord Avenue in Dormont which captivated Dana Burrows and her husband Conor McCaskey in 2008 is easy to spot. Painted in cheerful period colors, the exterior features fish scale shingles and an enchanting turret.

Above the front door, house numbers painted in gold leaf on glass transoms are reminiscent of a simpler era. In front, a green globe floor lamp is the neighborhood version of Kaufmann’s iconic clock.

“We noticed the kids were always standing outside around her,” Burrows recalls. “They call it ‘House Narnia’. Everyone here meets up there.

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Before buying it, the couple would often walk by the house in the evening just to see it.

“We lived a street down the road. We would drive by and say, “What if we live in this house? That would be crazy! ”Said Burrows.

In 2016, they hooked up with a rather reluctant seller and the house became theirs. After renovating it, the couple have since moved further south. The house is now on the market for $ 325,000 (MLS # 1508168, Jeremy Wells, It is under agreement.

Burrows remembers the first time she walked into the house, which was decorated in an almost perfect period style. Wall coverings adorned most of the rooms and all the furniture was antique. It was like stepping back in time, she said.

“It was like an antique store. There was a lot of wallpaper, even on the ceiling.

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The interior renovation of the 2,300-square-foot home included removing most of the wallpaper, removing the rugs (“The floors are in perfect condition. They haven’t been touched,” Burrows says.) And the added detailed touches such as a gas fireplace. insert in the living room.

Mechanical upgrades include new windows and the installation of a slate-look metal roof with a lifetime warranty to replace the original slate-tiled roof. Among the things they kept was the lovely porch and the yellow and green exterior paint colors.

The magnificent entrance is centered by the original paneled staircase. On the post, a copper nymph charms the path with golden light. Several original stained glass windows, including in the entrance, formal living room, first floor landing and upstairs bathroom, fill the rooms with warm, colorful light.

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A pair of pocket doors lead into the living room, where there is a renovated marble fireplace facade. “We had a new Valor fireplace installed and the fireplace heat shield is the custom insert,” Burrows explains.

The formal dining room added drama thanks to a striking black ceiling with a white medallion and a new modern chandelier. (The home’s original crystal chandelier has been rewired and tidied up.) The updated space has been a winner for entertaining and is easily accessible to the unique kitchen, which was remodeled before the couple was House owner.

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The kitchen has an exposed brick fireplace wall that nests the stove, while wood beams add to the rustic feel. A ceramic tile floor is a good workhorse, and there is another stained glass window that rises above the cabinets.

Four bedrooms, plus two complete and a powder room complete the rest of the house. On the second floor are two full bedrooms and a full bathroom, as well as a master bedroom. Another bedroom has been transformed into a walk-in closet and a third room serves as a home office.

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The upstairs bathroom has wood paneling, a heated towel rail and plenty of built-in cupboards. Underfoot, the original hardwood floors keep things comfortable.

The third floor has two full bedrooms, one of which overlooks the office below, as well as a renovated powder room.

“The ceiling was opened up to the third floor by the previous owners,” says Burrows.

The house worked very well for the couple during their forties. “I’m a teacher and I was teaching in the dining room with the doors closed, and my husband was able to work in the office,” says Burrows.

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In the basement, a more modern renovation includes a full bathroom, a fireplace, a suspended ceiling and a laundry room. Not to be missed in the backyard, the enchanting gazebo, a beautiful space for outdoor occasions.

The house has a home guarantee, an independent garage and radiator heating. Window air conditioners are also provided with the house.

Burrows says that she and her husband loved their stay in the “Narnia” house. They had no intention of selling, but they became fascinated with another house, this one on a wooded lot.

“We weren’t really looking,” she says. “One day we went to an open house and fell in love. “

Drawing on her years of experience in the area’s real estate industry, Rosa Colucci offers Hot Property, an inside look at the unique and historic homes on the market. Each week, Hot Property passes behind the For Sale sign to share the story of a special Pittsburgh area home. And four times a year, Hot Property provides an in-depth look at the area’s real estate market in Pittsburgh HOME Magazine, tracking home prices and sales, and detailing where hot properties are located. Rosa can be contacted at [email protected].

On: Dormont district

Population: 8.593
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: A 23 minute drive to the airport. Daily transport via Port Authority buses and the “T” light rail system. Parking on the street.
Schools: Keystone Oaks School District ( is made up of Castle Shannon, Dormont and Green Tree. The average size of elementary classes is 22 students. Ranked among the top 15 districts in western Pennsylvania. Over 21 high school sports and STEAM Curriculum.
District: Dormont has a historic society, vibrant community life, and voluntary cooperation with Sustainable Pennsylvania. The thriving business district includes sidewalks, several popular restaurants, bakeries and specialty shops.


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