Above: Homes on Beech Street in Allegheny West.
In the 1900s, Allegheny West was home to some of the wealthiest residents of Pittsburgh, and the homes and architecture they left behind was shown off this past weekend when the Allegheny West Civic Council hosted its 2012 wine tour.
The tour featured seven homes and showcased two local wines from the Michael Stephen Kavic Winery of Carnegie and the R Wine Cellar of the Strip District.
The tour sold out its 75 available spots at 60 dollars a ticket. Carole Malakoff, event chair and home shower, said the leisurely pace of the evening tour attracts the crowd.
“The group enjoys each house for about 20 to 30 minutes and gives the guests a whole evening of entertainment,” said Malakoff.
The historical relevance of the neighborhood adds to its appeal as well. The Victorian homes housed some well-known Pittsburgh names such as Edger J. Kaufmann and Joseph Horne.
The neighborhood saw a heavy decrease in residents during the Great Depression, but the community rebuilt in the 1970’-s when the gas crunch enticed Pittsburgher’s to Allegheny West’s convenient location, said Malakoff.
“With the gas shortage in the ‘70s, Allegheny West became a popular neighborhood. It is an easy walk or bike ride to the North Shore or to downtown,” said Malakoff.
It is now the home of a wide range of ages and restoration continues to progress, but only on the interior.
“As a city historic district,” said Malakoff, “we as residents must gain permission to do any work on the exterior. So, Allegheny West has preserved its lavish appearance.”