On the Hunt: A Great Estate in Fox Chapel. On the hunt: a large estate in Fox Chapel

Photos by Mark Hollowinski, MJH Images

THere are very few homes 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 includes five bedrooms, three full baths, and three half baths. But this is only part of the story.

The property is located in a country location at the end of a private one-lane road with only four other homes on it abutting the Heinz family’s 90-acre estate, also known as the Rosemont Ranch.

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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 good luck led him to build the estate.

When land became available in 1986, three generations owned enough land for four homes. I was lucky enough to be able to get the first choice,” he recalls. “Montgomery & Rust had the exclusive rights to build all four homes on that land.”

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The company has several notable buildings to its credit, including the Trillium in Fox Chapel and Summerset at Frick in Squirrel Hill. Wickerham says he and his late wife were able to purchase over 3 acres to build their dream home, which included a basic suite on the first floor and a heated four-car 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, Marty. Together the couple upgraded the house, taking Wickham outside and Marty supervising the inside.

“She has good eyes and she’s done the job for our house in Florida,” says Wickham.

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The 14-room house has a large entrance with a curved staircase in the middle. And behind it is the couple’s favorite space, the large room.

“It has a cathedral ceiling made entirely of wood, and the fireplace is huge,” says Marty. “You can see the snow falling, the woods, the deer walking near you and it’s so beautiful,” adds Wickerham.

The original design of the 15-by-34-square-foot kitchen has stood the test of time. A large central island with seating for four features a gas stove. The overhead is a commercial grade exhaust. There are also thicker granite countertops, with the material also used on the backsplash.

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New luxury appliances include double-walled ovens, an over-the-counter microwave, and an appliance garage to hide countertop clutter. There’s also an extended window running through the adjacent family room, as well as fresh lighting and neutral décor. The original oak floors add softness to the room.

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The dining area has doors that lead to a large stone patio covered with a custom canopy. The plaza itself overlooks the Heinz estate.

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

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The base suite and 21-by-23-square-foot seating area feature a brushed-nickel chandelier, neutral paint, and a white rug. The newly renovated bathroom features a glass-enclosed two-person shower with multiple fixtures and a built-in bench. An extra deep bathtub provides extra relaxation and a European bidet adds even more flair. Marty adds that she has asked contractors to take advantage of the attic space to create a vaulted ceiling for the bathroom.

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Four other bedrooms range in size from 16 x 15 to 11 x 10 square feet. Marty also supervised renovations to those rooms with new finishes and paint, as well as two other bathrooms.

The third level includes an additional room of 14 x 18 square feet. In the final basement there is space for a large clip and a TV.

“The house is elegant, but very livable,” says Marty. “I see a family there with some children.”

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There is no doubt that the family will also enjoy the grounds which include mature trees, plantations and well-tended grass. From every direction, the house feels like a country retreat, a comment he often hears and loathes 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’re out,” he says.

Drawing on her years of experience covering the real estate industry in the region, Rosa Colucci’s Hot Property offers an inside look at the unique and historic homes currently on the market. Every week, Hot Property goes behind the For Sale banner to share the story of a Pittsburgh-area home. Four times a year, Hot Property will take an in-depth look at the area’s real estate market at Pittsburgh Magazine HOME, tracking home prices, sales and details of where hot properties can be found. Rosa can be reached at [email protected].

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