Trendy property: a stately home in a hidden gem of the suburbs



IIf you took a poll of all the hidden gems in the Pittsburgh suburbs, Ingram would be right near the top. With a population of just 3,237 and covering less than half a square mile, it’s so far under the radar that it practically holds stealth bomber status.

So here is a primer.


It’s not part of Crafton, but they are neighbors and best friends, so much so that you often hear “Crafton-Ingram” in reference to the area. Just 10 minutes from the city center, it’s also convenient to the Crafton Ingram shopping center and Crafton Ingram Lanes – and so you can see why there is all the confusion.

Nonetheless, hidden hamlet communities are a specialty in this area, and Ingram’s qualities are what drew Anna Romansky and her husband, Brian Cleveland, to their gem of a home at 24 Vancouver Avenue.

“We were so intrigued by the neighborhood because it had it all,” says Romansky. “And the Montour school district offered a great school life. ”


When the couple bought their five bedroom, two full bath, and two half bath home in 2011, they were just starting life together and had no children. The classic Victorian brick style of 1907 stood out from them with its original toothed molding, magnificent front porch, and stately, graceful profile.

“The previous owner had made a few updates,” Romansky recalls. “Every room had outdated wallpaper and there were rugs on the second and third floors.

The couple got to work, tackling many updates appropriate to the period over the past 10 years. While they love their home, their fledgling family has had to move.

“We now have four children,” says Romanky. “We wanted more outdoor space for the kids. It was the only thing you couldn’t change.


The couple listed their home for $ 299,000 (MLS # 1511652, Lu Ryan, Howard Hanna Real Estate,, 412 / 708-2300). It is open by appointment.

Anyone with an eye for detail will notice the home’s many special touches, starting with the porch.

“We installed all the new floorboards, narrow grooves and stained them,” says Romansky.


The pillars are accented with Victorian colors and add a pleasant touch to the three panel front door. Inside, the original entrance is magnificent. There’s an oak-wood staircase, original pocket doors, leaded glass, and a recessed basin light fixture, the first of many the couple have restored or replaced throughout the house. The large space also comes with a bonus during the holidays, according to Romansky.

“We were able to put an 11-foot Christmas tree in the driveway,” she says. “It was harder to find the tree than [it was] to integrate it into there.


The formal 15-by-14-square-foot living room is anchored by the original fireplace. The mirrored mantle with carved details and tiger wood columns is both functional and beautiful. To the right, through a second pair of pocket doors, is an equally beautiful fireplace, simpler in design but which shines brightly thanks to the tile surround.

The house is heated by the heat of the radiator, and the couple painstakingly sanded and restored each radiator in the house with a soft metallic paint, transforming them into magnificent works of art.


The 12 by 11 square foot kitchen has been remodeled by the previous owner and features a smart layout with a freestanding workspace, granite counters and stainless steel appliances. Above is a copper-colored pewter ceiling.

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The beautiful backyard has a new back porch deck with wood-look ceramic tiles and painted brooches in a Victorian era color palette. Where a garage used to be, there is a parking lot that can accommodate two cars. Perfectly level, the low maintenance yard is a great place for entertaining.

“We updated all of the landscaping around the house with river rock,” says Romansky.


Back inside, the master bedroom on the second floor has been completely renovated. The couple cleverly destroyed a false wall attached to a once captive bedroom and turned the space into a luxury bathroom.

“We installed marble tiles and heated floors,” says Romansky. “The clawfoot tub dates from the late 1800s and we have completely refurbished it. The chandelier is antique with new wiring.


A cabinet-style double vanity and a stand-alone shower add to the stunning bathroom design. It is a real complement to the bedroom, where a second pewter ceiling presents a coffered medallion box. A fireplace and new hardwood floors complete the space.

The second floor has two more generously sized bedrooms, also with hardwood floors. A second full bathroom, refurbished by the previous owners, stands out with stained glass and interlocking paneling.


The third floor also received the demo treatment when the couple removed another captive room and turned the space into a home office. New hardwood floors, baseboards (some salvaged and some new) and lighting make this a super functional space. Another bedroom on this level is also clean, light and bright.

“All of the spaces have room darkening tones and we have removed all the painted wood in those rooms,” Romansky explains.

As her family prepares for their next phase, she says she will miss her old neighborhood very much.

“From home you can walk through two different parks,” she says. “I also belonged to a large group of mothers. There are a lot of young families moving in because of the great school district. We had a lot of nice neighbors.

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]


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