On the Hunt: A Large Estate at Fox Chapel

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PHOTOS BY MARK HOLEWINSKI, MJH IMAGES

JThere are very few houses in the country that can compare to 15 Hunt Club Lane.

Located on a private road in Fox Chapel, the 9,000 square foot home features five bedrooms, three full bathrooms and three half bathrooms. But that’s only part of the story.

The property enjoys a bucolic location at the end of a single-lane private road with only four other homes adjoining the 90-acre Heinz family estate, also known as Rosemont Farm.

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The sprawling custom home is now on the market for $3.29 million (Lori Hummel, Howard Hanna Real Estate, howardhanna.com, 412/287-1739). It is open by appointment.

Owner Bob Wickerham says luck led him to build the estate.

“When the land became available in 1986, there were three generations who owned enough land for four houses. I was lucky to be able to get the first selection,” he recalls. “Montgomery & Rust had the exclusive rights to build the four houses on this land.”

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The company has many notable builds to its credit, including The Trillium at Fox Chapel and Summerset at Frick at Squirrel Hill. Wickerham says he and his late wife were able to purchase over 3 acres to build their dream home, which included a first-floor master suite and a four-car heated garage.

“We knew this was where we wanted to be,” he says. “”When we originally built the house, Don Montgomery called it English Country.”

Wickerham found love again 10 years ago when he married his current wife, Marti. Together the couple modernized the house, with Wickerham looking after the exterior and Marti overseeing the interior.

“She has a good eye and has made our home in Florida,” Wickerham says.

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The 14-room house has a grand entrance centered by a curved staircase. Behind is the couple’s favorite space, the Great Room.

“It has a cathedral ceiling that’s all wood, and that fireplace is massive,” Marti says. “You can see the snow falling, and the antlers, the deer going by and it’s just so beautiful,” adds Wickerham.

The original 15 square foot by 34 square foot kitchen layout has stood the test of time. A large central island that can accommodate four people has a gas cooktop. Overhead is a commercial grade exhaust. There are also beefy granite countertops, with the material also being used on the backsplash.

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New luxury appliances include double wall ovens, an under counter microwave and an appliance garage to hide counter clutter. There is also an enlarged window passage to the adjoining family room, as well as new lighting and neutral decor. The original oak floors give a softness to the room.

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The dining room has doors that lead to a large covered stone patio with a custom awning. The courtyard itself overlooks the Heinz property.

Other areas include a formal living room and a formal dining room. Both flank the entrance and feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows that flood the space with light. A home office has cherry wood paneling, built-in bookcases, and a Palladian window.

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The 21-by-23-square-foot master suite and sitting area features a brushed nickel chandelier, neutral paint, and white carpet. The newly remodeled bathroom features a two-person glass-encased shower with multiple fixtures and a built-in seat. An extra-deep soaking tub provides extra relaxation and a European bidet adds style. Marti adds that she had contractors use an attic space to create the bathroom’s vaulted ceiling.

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Four other bedrooms range in size from 16 by 15 to 11 by 10 square feet. Marti also oversaw renovations to these rooms, which have new finishes and paints, as well as two more bathrooms.

The third level features a bonus room measuring 14 square feet by 18 square feet. On the finished lower level there is room for a large sectional and a TV.

“The house is elegant, but it is also very pleasant to live in,” says Marti. “I see a family in there with kids.”

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A family would also undoubtedly appreciate the grounds, which include mature trees, plantings and a manicured lawn. From all directions, the house looks like a country getaway, which is a comment Wickerham often hears when friends from out of town come to visit.

“They can’t believe it’s such a short drive – 15 minutes [from the city] and you are in the countryside,” he said.

Drawing on her years of experience in the area’s real estate industry, Rosa Colucci’s Hot Property offers an inside look at unique and historic homes currently 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 will provide an in-depth look at the area’s real estate market in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking home prices and sales, and detailing where the most sought-after properties are. Rosa can be reached at [email protected].

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